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News article created on 27 April 2015

Barclays staff take to the canal bank

Volunteers from local offices of Barclays found themselves looking after a different kind of bank as they took part in a canal clean up event on the Kennet & Avon Canal.

The clean-up event saw the volunteers painting 200-year-old locks on the Caen Hill flight, a staircase of 16 locks near Devizes in Wiltshire.

A total of 17 volunteers from Barclays’ Mortgage and Business specialist teams joined the project as part of their corporate volunteering initiative, and had given a fresh coat of paint to four of the locks by the end of the day. The Caen Hill locks were the last section of the 87 mile canal to be completed by famous engineer John Rennie, and are one of the seven wonders of Britain’s waterways.

Community Investment Programme

Steve Bicknall, employee engagement coordinator at the Canal & River Trust, said: “We had a fantastic day with the Barclays crew, who’ve done a great job giving the locks a lick of paint before the summer season kicks off. It’s always great when businesses give back to the local area, and we really appreciate the help the Barclays team have given us in keeping this wonderful waterway in great shape.”

Andrew Larcombe, from Barclays Home Solutions, who organised the volunteering day, said: “‘We are delighted to have supported the Canal & River Trust and would like to thank everyone who helped us to make this happen. Barclays has a fantastic Community Investment Programme that encourages employees to get involved in the causes we care about. It’s about giving back our skills, time and energy to support our local communities – so we’re thrilled to have taken part.’

The Kennet & Avon Canal has had a boost from volunteer projects in the last year, with local residents having spent over 27,000 hours getting involved in a wide range of activities, including volunteer lock keeping, towpath tidies and canal restoration projects.