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News article created on 21 February 2014

Youth Engagement Advisory Group casts off

19 year old Chloe Donovan is the first chair of a new advisory group whose aim is to help us get more young people involved with their local waterways.

We're aiming to inspire a new generation of waterway-enthusiasts by getting young people involved in aspects of the waterways that interest them the most – anything from volunteering through to music and performing arts projects.

Chloe already has lots of experience of championing youth volunteering. She has been active in Youth Participation since the age of 12 having been a member of various forums on local and national levels, as well as serving four years as a Member of the UK Youth Parliament.

Chloe’s current role is development officer for young peoples’ skills at NCVYS (National Council for Voluntary Youth Services). She brings a wealth of experience and is enthusiastic about working alongside organisations such as the Canal & River Trust, who want to give a voice to and get more young people involved in what they do.

Chloe Donovan comments: “The canals and waterways of Great Britain signify such a vital part in sustaining our heritage and biodiversity. If future generations are to explore and enjoy them then we need to encourage young people to take ownership and interest in preserving these beautiful areas, as well as realising the potential these areas provide as a tool for learning and personal development. I hope that this advisory board will encourage and facilitate young peoples’ involvement on various levels within the Canal & River Trust.”

Caroline Killeavy, head of community engagement at the Canal & River Trust, adds: “The launch of the Trust provides a great opportunity to get more young people thinking about and involved with their local waterways.  Looking ten, twenty and thirty years ahead, it’s so important we get a new generation of canal lovers involved and interested today. These are the people who’ll be the boat owners of the future, the wildlife enthusiasts and historians entrusted with looking after England and Wales’ waterway heritage. We need to inspire a new generation and make it easy and worthwhile for busy young people to get involved.

Chloe Donovan was nominated to be chair by other members of the youth Engagement Advisory Group.  She is joined on the Group by:

  • Danny Brennan, chair of the Trust’s East Midlands Waterway Partnership
  • Jon Boagey, operations director and deputy chief executive at the National Youth Agency
  • Gillian Bolt, a retired assistant Head Teacher and Inland Waterways Association lead on youth
  • Hugo Brookes, policy & campaigns officer for the British Youth Council
  • Professor Nicholas P Gair, academic and author
  • Andrew Chaloner, an environmental science student, currently undertaking a year-long placement at the Trust
  • Caroline Killeavy and Lucie Unsworth, the Canal & River Trust’s head of community engagement and the national youth engagement manager

The Advisory Group will meet quarterly, having held their first meeting towards the end of 2013. It will be established for an initial one year to assist with the formulation of an appropriate and deliverable strategy.  A review will be undertaken after a year to assess the need for continuation.

Membership of the group will be voluntary and unsalaried although reasonable travelling expenses will be reimbursed.

Find out more about our other advisory groups