"My mum passed away from ovarian cancer a few years ago, when she was first diagnosed we used to come to the canal a lot. It was quite close to the hospital so whenever she went for treatment we’d escape down by the water. It was a break from the hustle and bustle of the hospital, It gave us the chance to relax and escape from the world and our problems .It was peaceful.
After her passing, I myself was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and during my treatment I would revisit the same canal for a break from it all.
A few years later when I was in remission I saw an advertisement for a volunteer lockkeeper and went for it. It had been a place for me and mum to enjoy so it seemed like something positive to do.
No two days are ever the same here, you meet lots of different people who have come to relax and it’s just lovely saying hello to people out walking or being able to help someone through the locks and on their way. It’s great place to be part of that, it’s a sense of community."
Craig, volunteer lockeeper, Grand Union Canal