Dedicated volunteers who work with the Canal & River Trust to help clean up the Worcester & Birmingham Canal are to soon take delivery of a new boat, following a fundraising appeal that raised over £23,000.
Donations from the public, the Worcestershire Community Safety Partnership and £16,500 from players of the People’s Postcode Lottery helped to secure the second-hand boat, which is now being restored in Tardebigge Yard. Hull repairs, painting and motor work will be completed in the coming months, with the aim of getting the boat on the water in the new year.
The workboat will be used solely by volunteers, who will clean up litter, remove graffiti, cut back trees and bushes along the canal and create new habitats for wildlife. The boat will provide a warm, dry place for the volunteers to work from, as well as enabling them to reach parts of the canal that they can’t currently access from the towpath.
Once the boat is ready for action, we will run a competition with local schools to name it.
Ed Helps, from the Canal & River Trust’s South Wales & Severn waterway partnership, who himself raised over £6,000 via two sponsored bike rides, said: “It’s great to have raised the money for the boat, a big thanks go to all those who supported the appeal, particularly the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.
"It’ll enable us to do things we haven’t previously been able to do. We’re going to train volunteers to skipper the boat and encourage local schools and community groups to participate in clean-up sessions, for example. The Worcester & Birmingham Canal is fantastic, volunteers do so much to ensure it continues to thrive, so we are delighted to be able to provide them with even more support.”