We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.

Support page for active volunteers

Thank you for giving your time to support the aims of the Canal & River Trust. This page gives a number of support resources, whether you’re new or have been volunteering for some time.

Volunteer with the Canal & River Trust Volunteer with the Canal & River Trust

Introducing the Trust

Vision and Values - short film

The Trust – who are we? - short film

When you start volunteering, we aim to give you all the information you need about your role, what we do and what support there is for you.

Here’s our Volunteer Statement, which your task manager should run through with you in the early days of your volunteering. It’s an informal agreement setting out what both you and us can expect from the relationship.

Stay safe this summer

At this busy time of year, it is important that we all stay safe when visiting and volunteering on our canals and rivers. To help with this, we have a series of films we ask all our regular volunteers to watch.  You may have already seen many of the below, but it's always useful to check the most up to date videos:

Acting safely

Working on or near water

Safe lock operation for Volunteer Lock Keepers

Lone working (every 3 years)

Manual handling (every 3 years)

Share the Space with wildlife this summer

With summer now well in advance, and the hedges, grass and water plants large and growing, many of you will be keen to take action to keep towpaths and waterways accessible and tidy. This is definitely needed, but don't forget to plan for the wildlife who call the canals their home - some are still bringing up their young, and they all need a safe place to sleep and feed.  See our handy 'toolbox talks' below:

Toolbox Talk - Nesting birds

Toolbox Talk - Protected species

Claiming expenses

Your Volunteer’s Handbook tells you about claiming expenses and what you can claim. You claim through our online expenses system (Selima) here is the link to login page. If you have not already been sent an email inviting you to log on to this, please speak to your task manager.

The system is relatively intuitive and helps speedy, secure claims to be made without the need for paperwork. Here’s a quick guide for how to log in, add your details and make a claim.

Selima Champions are there to help. They are volunteers who can support anyone new to claiming online. To find your local champion, or for any further support or feedback, please call or email us (manned during office hours)

0303 040 4040


Recording volunteer time

We record volunteer time to help show how much people are giving both locally and nationally. Last year (April 15 - March 16) volunteers gave 482,000 hours with a notional value of £7.6m to the Trust. Thank you!

We record time in a number of ways, including site sign-in forms, expenses claims, and this Contribution Record sheet. Your task manager should be able to advise you on the method most suitable for your team and role.

Safety management

All our safety management is determined by our Safety Policy. All volunteering, which we either supervise directly or work with a partner group for you to manage elements of yourself in agreed ways, are covered by our Public Liability Insurance 2016.

Reporting accidents: please report any accidents directly to your line manager. We also aim to report 'Near Miss' incidents, where an accident nearly happens - see more in Toolbox Talk below. This helps us learn more to ensure that we have fewer accidents in the future. Use this Near Miss form to report them and hand it in to your task manager.

Toolbox Talk - Near miss

Last date edited: 13 July 2017