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News article created on 4 February 2015

Waterway conference to help find new waterway supporters

A conference will take place in Birmingham this March to examine where the future champions of the nation’s waterways will come from, and to share experiences with organisations looking to attract new supporters.

We're running the event together with the Worcester Birmingham & Droitwich Canals Society. The day will see guest speakers from the youth and voluntary sector talk about a range of discussions including:

  • How our ageing society is likely to have a profound effect on membership groups, organisations and charities
  • The tension between maintaining an attractive offer for existing supporters and increasing the involvement of younger groups
  • If it’s feasible to reach and engage people of all ages with just one ‘offer’
  • Whether societies/groups are equipped to attract a new generation of supporters which is more confident and tech-savvy than ever before

The free event is being held on Saturday 21 March, at the Bond Conference Venue, 180-182 Fazeley Street, Birmingham (B5 5SE), from 10.30am-3.30pm.

Caroline Killeavy, Canal & River Trust head of community engagement, says: “In many respects the nation’s waterways are more popular than ever. However, societies, membership organisations and charities like the Trust all recognise there is a challenge to appeal to new groups, and inspire them to get involved with the waterways.

"Changing societal pressures and reaching the right audiences in the right way, are among the challenges we all face. What is clear is that we are better to work together to enthuse and attract new people to get involved. This conference is an opportunity to share ideas, experiences and hear from organisations that have had successes in attracting new support. I’d encourage anyone interested in attending to come along.”

David Wheeler, from the Worcester Birmingham & Droitwich Canals Society, added: “Every canal society I’ve spoken to recently is looking at how to find new members and volunteers. We’re not just talking about getting younger people involved, but also those in their 40s, 50s, 60s and upwards. Volunteers can be any age, young to old, so we’re looking at how we can appeal to the whole spectrum of ages. It makes sense to pool our ideas and expertise, that’s the aim of the event.”

To register a place, or for more information contact Sarina.young@canalrivertrust.org.uk 01636 675740

Download the event flyer