Young people are working with us to make a difference in their communities and beyond through youth social action. We are an active member of the #iwill campaign and we used #iwillWeek2018 to share and champion their stories.
Take a look at what we got up to for last year's #iwillweek in the video below.
We created six case studies to showcase the diverse ways that young people are making life better by water with youth social action.
Lara, 17, completed a community project with the Desmond Family Canoe Trail as part of a programme with The Prince’s Trust.
Lara worked with a group of young people to plan and lead a much-needed clean-up project at an unloved section of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. Working together her group removed 20 bags of rubbish from the canal and fitted a floating boom to prevent litter from building up in future.
As part of the project Lara started volunteering with One Vision Studios, a project that offers media training for people with learning disabilities, and she has since begun an apprenticeship with them.
Jake, 18, is a young hub leader with the Desmond Family Canoe Trail project in the north west. Hub leaders are young people who are committed to regular social action supporting the trail project.
Since becoming a hub leader, I took part in a canoe litter pick and met Nancy the Poet Laureate. I plan to work with Vicki and on a lock with other volunteers doing repairs whilst the locks are closed to boaters. I will also go to a meeting every month to meet other Hub Leaders, we will plan our own social action project and complete it in the school holidays.
Claudia a postgraduate student at Birkbeck University College of London, volunteered with us to complete a Dissertation for Good in partnership with The National Union of Students.
Claudia completed an analysis of digital marketing and brand awareness based on our Lets Fish! campaign. The project was a success, Claudia achieved a first grade for her dissertation, and we have been able to use the research she completed.
Mariam, 11, took part in the Leicester Young Ecology Adventurers programme in summer 2018.
The project was conceived to give young people (11-14 years) opportunities to explore the natural heritage of their local canals, whilst gaining skills and experience in outdoor pursuits and conservation. Mariam said: "I feel lucky to have been given the opportunity to discover wildlife on the canal and in the river… I truly wish that this opportunity comes again for all of us young people."
In October 2018 16 young people attended a residential at Foxton Locks as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Award.
During their stay, the young people took part in a range of tasks to help maintain the historic site.
The residential was a positive experience for the young people and the team at Foxton. One of the young people said "I liked having an achievable goal, and seeing it completed".
In 2017 the 4th Crosby Scouts adopted a section of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal as part of our Million Hands partnership.
The Scouts wanted to focus on wellbeing and making a space where people could come to relax and enjoy the surroundings, improving their mental health and making life better by water.
Young people participated in a range of projects across the waterways.
We are committed to expanding opportunities for meaningful youth social action across the Trust and as part of #iwillweek we renewed our #iwill pledge to reinforce this:
The Trust is proud to be supporting environmental youth social action as part of the #iwill4nature campaign. 2019 will see us continue to group youth social action across the trust; creating opportunities for young people to make a real difference in their communities and beyond.
We are already planning an exciting programme of activities for the year of action – so watch this space.
Last date edited: 30 January 2019