We're going to work with nearly 2,000 young people from some of England's most deprived communities to create the country's first ever coast to coast canoe trail.
The trail, the longest of its kind in the UK, will stretch for 150 miles connecting Liverpool to Goole along the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and Aire & Calder Navigation. Travelling through Wigan, Blackburn, Burnley, Leeds and Skipton it will take the average paddler between five and seven days to complete.
The project is being developed thanks to a generous £1.3 million donation from The Desmond Foundation and also has the support of British Canoeing and Canoe England.
Over the five years it will take to build, we're going to recruit nearly 2,000 15-25 year-old volunteers to help us out.
The volunteers will help us to design the trail and then organise and run a year-round programme of activities for their community. They'll also improve the environment along the trail, planting new community gardens and habitats.
In the face of 21% youth unemployment across the country, this project will give young volunteers the experience they need to find employment in the future.
The Desmond Family Canoe Trail are offering young people the opportunity to take part in an exciting new leadership programme. Are you 16-24 and interested in making a difference in your community? Then sign up to our 8-week leadership programme in Liverpool starting in October. To get further information donwload our Leadership programme document and to reserve a place please visit our sign up page.
"I've put my hands to good use, it's been amazing!" Volunteer
We'll be updating these pages with information on the progress and activity at each of our hub locations as the project moves forwards.