Explorers education volunteers

If you love working with children and enjoy being outdoors, becoming an education volunteer could be the perfect opportunity for you.

In recent years it has been shown that volunteering can have a big impact on your health and wellbeing, as well as offer greater life satisfaction.

Now, the Canal & River Trust is able to demonstrate that people who volunteer by water see much greater levels of wellbeing, life satisfaction, feelings of being worthwhile, happiness and reductions in anxiety. 

Read our full study of the value of volunteering with an organisation.

Explorers towpath visit in Leeds

"There are few things more satisfying than seeing a child's eyes light up when they learn something new and exciting."

Jackie Harris, volunteer

Join us as an education volunteer

We are looking for volunteers who love working with children and would like to encourage them to explore our canals and rivers – in schools, on the towpath, through our website, at waterside events or in museums. Of course there is a strong social aspect as well – getting to know other volunteers, planning and leading sessions together and then discussing how it all went afterwards over tea and cake!

Learning in the great outdoors is at the heart of it

Our education volunteers help children discover the magic of the waterways through our Canal & River Explorers programme. Volunteers lead sessions for primary schools, cub scouts and brownie groups at waterside locations across England and Wales, as well as in schools and clubhouses too.

They show children how locks work, explain how a dragonfly larva hunts its prey, point out the rope marks under a bridge or just allow the children time to watch a coot feed its young. Through these visits our volunteers introduce a new generation of children to our canals and rivers - inspiring the enthusiasts of tomorrow.

Learn about volunteering at the Trust

Here’s what schools taking part in Explorers activities say:

“I saw some canal boats go down the locks, it was so cool. When I went to see inside the canal boat I couldn't believe that six people could fit in the little room.”

Ottavia, Thistley Meadow School

“We could not praise the work and effort made by the volunteers highly enough. The visit to the local rivers and canals was perfectly timed and extensively explained to all children. We had a whole day out and walked a long way, but as well as being blessed with lovely weather; we were fascinated by the sights that Vicky had researched in depth to help explain. We would love to make this sort of educational visit a regular feature within our “Let’s Explore” programme of study and would recommend the Canal & River Trust to any school looking to find out about the local waterways. Thanks Explorers!”

Adrian Smith, Freshford School

Where can I volunteer?

Last date edited: 27 July 2022