Youth engagement

Young people are at the heart of our aim to make canals and rivers relevant to the diverse communities they run through. With passion and fresh ideas, young people offer real opportunities for us to do things differently.

Young volunteers arriving to work on an outdoor art project in Leeds Young workers arriving to work on an outdoor art project in Leeds

In recent years, our work with young people has grown enormously, both in terms of the numbers of people we’re working with and the range of activities, events and projects we’re creating.

Our vision is to engage even more young people, from all walks of life, in the care and protection of our canals and rivers. We want to work together to promote the wellbeing benefits of being by water and make sure that waterways remain an important part of our communities in the future.

By involving young people in our work early in their lives, we can help them to build a meaningful connection with the environment. We’re also developing clear pathways of opportunities so that young people can try different activities, take on various roles, including leadership roles, and stay involved with us as they get older.

Our projects each come under one of three ‘pillars of engagement’, which are based on young people’s needs and interests: youth social action, youth skills development and employability, and youth health & wellbeing. Our youth engagement strategy explains more about how we developed these pillars.

Last date edited: 3 December 2020