Social action

We have pledged to inspire and support young people who benefit from and use our lovely canals and rivers. Find out what we, and many 10 - 25 year olds, have been doing to put this pledge into action.

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In January 2016, the Canal & River Trust made a pledge to: "inspire and support young people to take social action in communities who benefit from and use our national network of living waterways. We pledge to work with partners and funders over the next three years to inspire over 3,000 young people to take positive action to transform places and enrich lives. We will also establish a youth engagement board to give young people a voice at the highest levels of the Trust."

Over the last few years we have developed and delivered a wide range of events, activities and projects for young people aged 10-25 across our waterways in England and Wales.

We have developed a number of new, effective working relationships locally and nationally and have worked in partnership with a wide range of organisations across the public, private and charitable sectors

Youth social action: facts & figures

  • Over 150,000 children (aged 5-11) have been engaged through our Explorers education programme.
  • Over 4,000 young people have been attended youth social action sessions across the Trust since December 2013*
  • We have developed regular, practical youth social action opportunities with over 125 youth partners across our waterways and this is growing all the time.
  • We have over 200 regular young volunteers who have been directly recruited into roles supporting our teams across the Trust including;  technical, environmental, education and heritage. These volunteers alone have contributed close to 5,000 volunteering hours.
  • Over 125 young people have been engaged through our targeted social action and personal development programme in the Churnet Valley, Staffordshire.
  • 495 young people young people were involved in the Trust’s Action Squad Programme which finished in April 2015.
  • Since launching our Community Canal Adoptions initiative, 30 schools and youth groups have adopted a stretch of their local canal. This is 21% of the total adoptions nationally.

* Please note this is the total number of attendees at all sessions and may include repeat visits


Last date edited: 30 January 2017