More than 20 pupils from Cheltenham College have worked alongside the Canal & River Trust to clean up a stretch of the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal.
The fourth form pupils spent a morning on the towpath at High Orchard Bridge, a short walk from Gloucester Docks, helping the charity as part of their community action programme. They collected litter, cut back vegetation, and spruced up the steps of the bridge.
Caroline Kendall, Canal & River Trust volunteering development co-ordinator, said: "It was fantastic to see the pupils out on the canal, and we’re grateful for all their help. The canal is probably more popular today than at any time in living memory, thousands of people use it each month, so we want to keep it in top condition.
"We get a huge amount of help from volunteers and it’s great that the young pupils have lent a hand. We hope they got plenty out of it too and enjoyed working outdoors in their local community. Research says people tend to relax and slow down when they’re by water and it can be really beneficial for your mental and physical well-being. We hope to work with them more in the future and would encourage anyone else keen to help to get in touch."
Dr. Adam Dunning, director of community & partnerships said: "At Cheltenham College we take pride in our pupils’ active involvement in a wide range of local community initiatives, through our Community Action programme.
"The opportunity to take part in cleaning up towpath areas for the Canal & River Trust was met with great enthusiasm by our Fourth Form pupils. It also presented a wonderful opportunity to make a positive contribution to the immediate canal environment. On the day a group of 21 pupils rose to their various tasks, with dedication and a strong team spirit. Even though tackling the undergrowth and cleaning the steps at High Orchard was particularly challenging, their sense of purpose and achievement proved highly motivating.
"We hope that the Trust will agree that our pupils have made a worthwhile difference. We look forward to future initiatives that we are able to help with, and building a lasting partnership with the Canal & River Trust."