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Volunteer lock keepers wanted for Droitwich canals
3:05pm Wednesday 23rd January 2013 in News
VOLUNTEERS are wanted to carry out an iconic role along Droitwich Spa’s canal network.
The Canal & River Trust, the new charity which cares for 2,000 miles of waterways in England and Wales, is calling on the community to get involved in a unique opportunity to be a volunteer lock keeper.
Lock keeping has been a fixture on the canals for hundreds of years and the role of the modern-day volunteer lock keeper is to help the trust look after the waterways, including helping boaters through the locks, providing a polite and friendly welcome to waterway visitors and helping to maintain many historic, listed locks.
Actor and adventurer Brian Blessed supported the first appeal during 2012 which saw more than 250 people come forward and become volunteer lock keepers.
Now, the Canal & River Trust is asking for public support to try and double these numbers in more than 50 locations across the country.
Alan Sumnall, volunteer coordinator for the Canal & River Trust said: “As a new charity we were heartened by the amazing support we received for this role last year. Volunteers are integral to the future of the nation’s waterways and our growing groups of volunteers have been making a huge difference to local canals and rivers up and down the country. This is one of the oldest and most iconic roles on the waterways so we’re asking the millions of people who visit the nation’s canals and rivers each year to get active and become a volunteer lock keeper.”
Throughout the season, it’s also estimated the volunteer lock keepers assisted 1,500 boats and engaged with more than 1,700 towpath visitors on average per week, helped reduce water loss by encouraging lock sharing and making sure lock paddles were closed and also improved safe passage through locks.
Full details about how to become a volunteer lock keeper and location details are available by visiting canalrivertrust.org.uk/volunteer, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 0303 040 4040.
Volunteers can start quickly and no prior experience is necessary as a full induction, training and a uniform will be provided.