News article created on 21 February 2022

PwC UK shows it is good to do business on our canals

We've highlighted a partnership with PwC UK where our volunteering programme is playing a part in looking after our waterways.

Man with shovel PwC volunteer

Working in partnership, we're on the lookout for further corporates to follow PwC’s example by highlighting several ways businesses can help look after their local canal; from adopting a stretch of towpath to holding team days with a difference.

Preserving and protecting our network

Our latest partnership with PwC UK will see colleagues from across the country take part in volunteering activity throughout 2022. In the last week, a team in the Midlands spent a day along the Main Line Canal in Smethwick helping us with our ambition to plant the world’s longest community orchard, stretching 50 miles along the canals from Walsall to Worcester. In addition to planting trees, the team also took part in a litter pick and cleared overgrown bushes and shrubs to get the canal ready for the thousands of people expected to visit the region for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Two men holding spade smiling at camera

Camilla Wood, our corporate fundraising manager, said: “It’s fantastic that PwC UK will be working with us to help us preserve and protect our network of canals and I hope seeing the work they are doing inspires other businesses to get involved. We want everyone to enjoy the waterways and for local people and businesses to feel real ownership of them.

“There are plenty of activities for teams to get involved with including: painting lock gates, creating community gardens, improving the towpath and habitat improvements to benefit both people and wildlife. Most groups regularly meet each month to ensure their stretch continues to thrive, and we’re looking forward to working with PwC UK in the year ahead.”

What will the partnership involve?

The partnership, with PwC UK will see them donating six days a year to us, with a focus on canals close to PwC UK offices, and will involve carrying out improvements along the towpath which will make a real difference to local communities.

Women on the towpath racking

Nick Hatton, Midlands Place & Purpose Leader at PwC UK, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with the Canal & River Trust, which will provide our people with a number of opportunities to volunteer during work time over the course of this year.

“With the West Midlands in particular, it’s fantastic to see our people helping to get Birmingham and it’s waterways ready for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. At the heart of our purpose is how we can contribute to society and empower the communities in which we work in a diverse and inclusive manner, so I’m pleased as a supporter of the Games that we can enable our colleagues to help in such a personal and meaningful way.”

Spending time in fresh air

Camilla Wood continues: “The Canal & River Trust’s canals flow through towns and cities right across the country – providing vital green and blue space in communities that often need them the most. Being out and volunteering on the canal is great fun as you get the chance to be outside and spend some time in the fresh air. Our research shows that spending time by the canal has a positive effect on people’s physical and mental wellbeing so I would urge more business and individuals to give it a go.”