News article created on 18 November 2019

Volunteer Open Day at Standedge Tunnel

Standedge Tunnel & Visitor Centre is hosting a Volunteer Open Day on December 6 to encourage more people to get involved in improving and showcasing the longest, highest and deepest canal tunnel in the UK.

Volunteer Stuart Crowther Volunteer Stuart Crowther

One of the wonders of Britain’s waterways, Standedge Tunnel already benefits from some amazing volunteers who help to keep the attraction running and improve the overall visitor experience.

Andy Widdowson, attraction manager, said: "Standedge is a real gem of our canal network. It’s steeped in history and also a beautiful site. We want to keep it that way, but as Canal & River Trust is a charity, we do massively appreciate the help we get from volunteers. They are very important to us, and we’re incredibly grateful to those who get involved.

"Volunteering with Canal & River Trust not only helps improve your local area, it also gives you the chance to meet like-minded people and spend time in the great outdoors. Volunteers make a real difference to the local places they love – and they have plenty of fun along the way."

Stuart Crowther, 75, has been volunteering at Standedge for the past two years. The retired engineer said: "My wife had died a few years earlier, and since retiring I found I had a lot of time on my hands. I’ve always loved the canals, so I was looking for something I could do that would be useful."

It’s definitely something I’d recommend, and there are plenty of different roles for different types of people.

Stuart Crowther

"Standedge is a fantastic location, and after speaking to the Trust I found they needed help with general maintenance, cutting the vegetation and just giving the place a bit of TLC. It sounded perfect to me, and I can honestly say it’s been one of the most enjoyable times of my life."

Stuart, who volunteers two days a week, added: "I get a real sense of wellbeing coming here. I come in and do some bits and pieces, and always leave feeling like I’ve achieved something. There’s something about helping out that and being part of something that is really good for you – and the staff and other volunteers have been absolutely wonderful to work with over the years."

The open day starts at 10am, and there will be presentations and tours at 10am, 12.30pm, 2pm, 4pm and 6pm.

In particular, Standedge is looking for volunteers to help with landscaping and gardening; general maintenance; boat operations; educational visits; tours and talks; canal improvements; waterways management; tunnel operations.

As well as the tunnel and boat trips, the site includes a visitor centre and museum, café, garden, children’s play area and space for weddings and other events.

For more information, contact Standedge direct on 01484 844298, or email standedge@canalrivertrust.org.uk