The boat trip that inspired one local community to discover why life is better by water.
Lunchtime on Saturday 29 September, Sean McGinley, our new Yorkshire & North East regional director, along with three of his team, set sail on the Sheffield & Tinsley Canal. The purpose of the trip was introduce the canal and its healthy lifestyle benefits to 32 local people, a mixture of faiths and first languages, some coming from as far as Somalia and Syria, all of whom had chosen to make Sheffield their home.
Dr Rafik Al-Sakkaf and Dr Salha Shahd, community leaders with warm personalities and a shared vision brought everyone together and provided a welcome to all. Together they led introductions and set the scene offering translation to families, friends and individuals alike where required.
The doctors arranged for a fantastic homemade spread, featuring falafel and delicious cous cous dishes.
Along the way we spotted herons and chatted about wildlife, history and opportunities for volunteering.
Early on it was clear that while everyone lived near the canal, most had never visited before. There was a shared admiration for this green oasis in what can otherwise be a metallic and industrial city.
As we approached Victoria Quay to disembark there was a great interest in wanting to help care for and maintain the canal. Interest in volunteering was so high that we couldn’t capture email addresses fast enough!
The power of the boat trip has led to 11 interested volunteers from a range of communities along the canal corridor. We're now working to develop taster activities for both volunteering and educational workshops.
17 November will enable us to take the next step towards the interested becoming the initiated and part of the Canal & River Trust volunteer family.
Last date edited: 9 October 2018