Hello and welcome to the May news update from the London volunteering team. This weekend Little Venice Cavalcade marks the start of the festival season and we're working hard to help our canals be at their best for the busy summer ahead. Read on for Towpath Taskforce dates, floating litter picks, eel monitoring, festival fever and more.
Join us at Towpath Taskforce to enjoy the sunshine at last. We’ll be out at Hanwell, Broxbourne and Haggerston among others, helping to get our towpaths looking their best. More information on each of these events can be found by clicking the links below. Details of the June events can be found on the London Volunteering page. All tools, equipment and instruction will be supplied, please wear old clothes and hard-soled footwear and if the weather forecast is looking wet, don’t forget the waterproofs!
We’re looking for more volunteers to join our weekday work team (affectionately known as ‘Aidan’s Wonder Team’). This is a great chance to get outdoors, learn new skills and be part of a team making real improvements to London’s canals. The group goes out on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in central London (zones 1 and 2), led by Aidan Slater from our Operations Team. Often working from a boat, they tackle whatever jobs need to be done that week. For the past few months they have been cutting back invasive buddleia, performing lock maintenance and removing graffiti on the Regent’s Canal. In the coming months they will be focusing on masonry repairs, lime mortar repointing and vegetation management on the Regent’s Canal and Paddington Arm.
We’re looking for volunteers who are happy being outdoors, enjoy practical work and are able to volunteer at least two days per month. If this sounds like something you might enjoy please email Deborah.firstname.lastname@example.org.
London Canal Volunteers, led by Richard Elkan, are looking for volunteers to join them at a series of events tackling floating litter on the Grand Union Canal and Paddington Arm in west London. Starting from Alperton, they will be working their way down to Brentford throughout the week, on their boat, Elsie Vee. Richard and the rest of the team do an amazing job cleaning up London’s canals and rivers, and if the sun is shining there’s no better place to be than out with them! To find out more and to contact the group please visit their Facebook page or email email@example.com.
There is still time to sign up to help monitor eels at Lea Bridge on the beautiful River Lee over the summer. The numbers of elvers (young eels) joining the adult population have dropped over 95% since the 1980’s due to a range of threats including fresh water barriers to upstream migration, such as the weirs and sluice gates found on our canals and rivers. Because of this, we are working in collaboration with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) to monitor the elvers passing through a specially installed eel pass at Lea Bridge weir on the River Lee. We are looking for volunteers to help by checking and counting the elvers and uploading data to the ZSL website.
If you want to know more about this unique opportunity and how you can get involved email firstname.lastname@example.org
This weekend the waterway festival season kicks off with the IWA Cavalcade at Little Venice and the forecast is looking great! If you’re free we highly recommend that you pop down and if you do, please come and say hello to us at the Canal & River Trust marquee! After Cavalcade, we have a busy summer of events across London and are looking for volunteers to help out to ensure festival goers have a fantastic time and leave with a greater understanding and affinity to the waterways. If you are able to help at any of the below please email Deborah.email@example.com
We are also looking for family activities volunteers to support the delivery of family activities at events, festival and open days throughout the summer. If you’re friendly, approachable, creative and would enjoy leading craft activities for families this is the perfect role for you. Click here to find out more.
Join us at Brentford on Friday 1 June to mark the start of National Volunteer’s Week. In the morning we’ll be taking a guided walking tour of the canal in Brentford, starting at 10.30am at Thames Lock and finishing at around midday at Brentford Toll House, where there'll be light refreshments. From 1-3pm Debbie Vidler (Volunteer Development Coordinator) and Linzi MacDonald (Apprentice Volunteer Development Coordinator) will be holding a volunteer drop in at the Brentford office. Come along to hear more about the Trust, find out about volunteering with us, ask any burning questions you have or just enjoy a cup of tea and a chat. If you would like to come along to any, or all of the day please email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your place. We look forward to seeing you there!
This month we meet partners in crime (and on the canal), Roger and Judy who are volunteer lock keepers at Cowley Lock! Hear what they have to say about their volunteering experience as well as their favourite thing a boater has given them, keep your eyes peeled for some very photogenic geese! If you would like to feature in a future ‘meet the volunteer’ please email email@example.com
Debbie Vidler is the volunteer development coordinator for London. She works with the London team to recruit and support volunteers and celebrates the amazing work they do. Every month she gives a roundup of volunteer events and opportunities coming up across London.See more blogs from this author