Introductions & Reflections

Time flies when the views are like this.

Welcome to our blog! Amanda and I will be taking it in turns to contribute each month to keep you up-to-date with the goings on of volunteering within the Technical Teams here at Canal & River Trust. As this is the first entry I thought it’d be an idea to give you a quick overview of what it is we actually do – so sit back, relax and enjoy a whistle-stop tour of Technical Team Volunteering.

The Technical Teams we work with are (in no particular order!); Water, Environment, Project Delivery, Heritage, Engineering, Asset Management, SCADA and Framework & Planning. Our role is to support colleagues in those teams to take on volunteers in various roles. This support comes in a variety of forms far too numerous to list here. As well as our day-to-day office work, we get the chance to travel around our respective areas and beyond to meet with volunteers, and to take part in events. These adventures will be the focus of our blog – it’s not interesting for anyone to read what we do in the office!

As we cover large areas in our roles we’re really lucky to be able to see a significant part of the network on our travels to different offices. This month I drove through the dramatic Yorkshire countryside to a meeting at Standedge Tunnel, and other meetings have taken me near to Hatton locks.

This month I was part of the staff team at a Marks & Spencer’s Canal Clean Up event. Working on a stretch of the canal near Rotherham, an enthusiastic group of volunteers from local stores came along and spent the day tidying up the banks. The weather was amazing, and this was reflected in the attitude of the group, who after 4 hours of hard work had collected over 50 bags of rubbish and other assorted items including; a fire extinguisher, a dining set, a school chair and a tyre. It took the team two trips to the yard to clear the collection. If you’re interested in helping to keep your local area tidy why not have a check out the Towpath Taskforce page on our website to find your nearest group.

Whilst on the event we spotted various insects including a damsel fly which is one of our key spots on the Great Nature Watch – have you downloaded the app yet? It’s a great way to get out and about on the towpaths in this glorious sunshine that we’ve got at the moment.

This month marks six months since I joined Canal & River Trust, and I’m in a reflective mood. It feels like much longer – in such a good way, the people and the environment have made that possible. It’s amazing how much a job can have an impact on your life – I know the canals, and the boats, and the wildlife have always been there and I know I’ve always seen them, but now I notice them. It’s like a spotlight has been turned on them, and when I drive over a motorway bridge, or pass a canal on a train I pay more attention to the brightly coloured boats, the black and white locks and the birds and plants that call the waterways home.

I was very lucky to have a first time experience this month on a day out on a boat, but I’ll leave that to Amanda to tell you about next month - well, we have to have a cliff-hanger to bring you back!

See you in July!


PS If you’re interested in volunteering with our Technical Teams take a look at our latest opportunities.

Last date edited: 16 March 2016

About this blog

Volunteer coordinator

Amanda is a volunteer coordinator for the Technical Team within the Trust. Whether it’s finding a student for a long-term placement with the environment team or assisting the hydrology team with a team of volunteers to count boat movements, she can be counted on to find the right people for the role. Amanda joined the Trust in July 2012 and previously worked as the Volunteer Leader in the East Midlands. She has worked at other charities in people engagement roles, but is at her happiest besides the water.

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