Read the story of how the Canal & River Trust came to be
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We have vacancies across all of our waterways and in the offices, museums and attractions that support them. We're one of the UK's biggest charities and we take pride in everything we do
If you're thinking of getting in touch then please take a moment to look through these pages as we probably have the answer on our website
Planning & design
All you need to know about planning and design on our canals and rivers
Find a winter mooring
Find a cosy section of canal to hunker down in this winter
10 reasons to take up canoeing
It's a great way to get fit and explore our waterways at the same time
Share the Space
Take a look at our common sense guide to sharing the towpath
Find a place to fish
From reservoirs to club-managed canals and river stretches - find your nearest place to fish
Get your free guide
Download your free guide today and start exploring the waterway nature near you
Download your free guides
You've nine free days out guides to choose from - where will you go first?
Find a walk near you
Are you ready to ramble? Find a waterside stroll or a satisfying hike along our beautiful canals and rivers
Take a look at our upcoming events here.
Find your favourite waterway
With over 95 canals, rivers, reservoirs, docks and navigations, find out more about your favourite waterway
Something for everyone
Help us make a difference and have fun along the way. Find your perfect volunteer role today
Join our team
Could you join your local Towpath Taskforce team and help us to keep our canals looking lovely?
Desmond Family Canoe Trail
If you're aged 16-25 and would like to get involved with this exciting project, please get in touch
Could you be a volunteer lock keeper?
Find out what's involved with this popular volunteering opportunity
Why we think canals are better with Friends
Become a Friend of the Canal & River Trust today and you’ll open yourself up to new experiences and endless opportunities.
We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.
If I could chose my own job title I’m sure it would change as often as the wind changes direction. But, yesterday, it would most definitely have read: Sarina Young, Agony Aunt.
I’m not complaining, it’s something which pleases me. Not in a narcissistic way but because I’d like to think that we can all make a small difference to how this world works out and if people feel they can open up to me and I’m happy to listen then that’s a good thing. The outcome is positive all round.
Though I’m not sure why people feel this way. I’ve tried to work it out and I’ve failed miserably. Whatever it is, it’s also the same reason that someone who’s lost will pick me out of a crowd to ask for directions, why the 'well-oiled' person on the train will chose to sit down right next to me and make small talk for the remainder of my journey and why I cannot ever pass someone selling the Big Issue without buying a copy because, sure as eggs are eggs, they’ve already locked onto me.
Those of you similarly afflicted will know exactly what I mean.
I suppose, if you think very logically about it, my job is fundamentally about keeping happy people happy and making people who are not happy, happy again. It’s only natural that the same would apply to my customers and colleagues alike…we’re all just people, aren't we?
One of the most recent examples happened yesterday when I spent some time discussing whether or not an email from a customer was a ‘formal complaint’, therefore requiring the attention of his senior manager, or whether he should contact the customer and arrange to meet them. To me it sounded very much as though he’d be able to resolve the difficulty swiftly and to everyone’s satisfaction if he did the latter. So that was what we agreed.
As we came to this conclusion our conversation took the following lines:
“That certainly sounds like the sensible thing to do. I hope your meeting goes well”
“and an hour of my time is worth far less than everyone else’s who will get involved for something we know of and are already preparing to sort out”
“…but that doesn’t mean you’re any less valuable”
“Nope, they will always need the thick skinned ones at the sharp end!”
Reflecting on this conversation later I wished that we’d had the opportunity to talk for a little longer. If we had I’d have told him that, yes, having a thick skin can be useful protection at times but only if it isn’t so thick it prevents you from hearing and seeing and feeling and thinking.
Be brave, take the bad with the good, find humour where you can and keep smiling despite of it all not because of it. But do not do all that to the detriment of your sensibility. Because without it you’ll never be able to achieve great things.
I think he knows this but my Agony Aunt ‘alter ego’ simply cannot let it go unsaid.
quod erat demonstrandum.
Sarina joined us in 2008 as our customer services co-ordinator. Among other things, she manages our national customer service team, complaints procedure and requests for information made to the Trust. She says that the most important thing to her is to be able to go home and feel as though she’s achieved something, however small that might be. Her job is hugely satisfying, widely varied, full of deadlines, immensely interesting, sometimes challenging and no day is ever the same, although some are surprisingly familiar!