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News article created on 24 July 2015

Mencap volunteers adopt Newbury Lock

A group of volunteers from the West Berkshire branch of learning disability charity Mencap are giving a helping hand to the Kennet & Avon Canal by ‘adopting’ a lock in Newbury.

The volunteers, made up of both Mencap staff and service users, have become the latest community group to take part in our adoption scheme, under which local people, supported by our staff, team up to take ownership of the upkeep of a stretch of canal - in this case the historic Bull’s Lock in Newbury.

Tasks undertaken by the volunteers include bridge painting, litter picking, cutting back brambles and creating wildlife habitats.

"A brilliant confidence boost"

Sue Kilpatrick, from Mencap, said: “Mencap's adoption at Bull’s Lock is fantastic for our guys who attend our horticultural project ‘growing 4 all’. The guys love their time at the lock and take great pride in their achievements. The public that use the lock often thank our team for their contribution. This is a brilliant confidence boost and adds to their sense of achievement. We are all very excited about our next visit, and look forward to continuing our work.”

Fantastic way to get involved

Max Ward, volunteer leader said: “The group from Mencap have done an excellent job here at Bull’s Lock, and we’re really grateful for the time they’ve spent helping us out so far.  Community adoptions like these are a fantastic way for people to get involved with the canal, so if there’s a group of you thinking about volunteering, we’d love you to get in touch.”

Read more about our Waterway Adoptions or contact volunteer@canalrivertrust.org.uk / 0303 040 4040. At a hands-on level we will work with the group to understand what work needs to be done, whether it’s to record and improve wildlife habitats, maintain towpaths, help fundraise or run educational events.