News article created on 20 January 2022

Our appeal for volunteers in 2022

From lock keeping to wildlife conservation, research shows volunteering by water comes with extra health benefits.

Volunteering Volunteering

We're appealing for people to help look after their local canal, with research showing that volunteering by water is particularly good for a healthy mind and body. we will depend on the support of thousands of volunteers to help protect the nation’s canals and rivers in the year ahead, and says that volunteering by water comes with extra wellbeing benefits.

Why you should join the team

From the iconic lock keeper to wildlife conservationists, boat crew and towpath rangers. We have a wide variety of volunteer roles designed to protect one of the world’s finest networks of industrial heritage, a place on the doorsteps for millions to recharge. Many of the roles are outside along the nation’s waterways, interacting with boaters and towpath visitors and helping to tackle the biodiversity crisis in our towns and cities. They are perfect for those who like being amongst nature, enjoy meeting new people and who want to give something back to their local community and environment. 

People who volunteer by water for us report being happier, feeling more worthwhile and feeling less anxious than other volunteers or those who don’t volunteer at all.

Green spaces on your doorstep

Christine Mellor, our head of volunteering, comments: “In recent years it has been shown by many organisations that volunteering can have a big impact on your health and wellbeing and improve life satisfaction. And whilst all community volunteering is good for you, volunteering by water with the Canal & River Trust is particularly good for a healthy mind and body.

“With an exciting year ahead of us, we are on the look-out for people to join the team in a wide variety of roles from lock keeping, crewing boats, helping with urgent wildlife conservation, self-organised citizen science programmes and even going into schools to teach children about our wonderful canal heritage and staying safe by water. 

“These past months, we’ve seen local canals become a back garden for the everyone. Millions of people have been discovering these special green spaces on their doorsteps. Whether you are looking to boost your wellbeing, get fit and active, or just make a new year’s resolution to give something back; join the thousands of people already benefitting from volunteering by water and #ActNowForCanals.”