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Marsh Impact Volunteer with the Canal and River Trust

This Award recongises volunteers with the Canal and River Trust who have made a significant impact through their dedication, ability to bring about changes, and show drive and enthusiasm for the organisation.

Nominations for the Award are submitted to the Canal and River Trust and are judged by a panel consisting of Canal and River Trust and MCT representatives.

Pictured: 2016 winner Peter Bruton aboard the Swift

Michelle Hale 2018

Michelle has volunteered at the Llangynidr Locks in Monmouthshire for 2 years. She is a midwife and volunteers in her spare time, giving an average of 60 hours a month as a volunteer Lock Keeper. She is reliable, approachable and always willing to help – nothing seems to much for her, from repainting the mess room and Welcome Station to cleaning and washing up after other lock keepers and staff.

Michelle has made a huge impact on the Trust through her dedication, ability to make things happen and dependability, she is a fantastic Ambassador for the Trust and will go above and beyond to ensure a customer is happy. She successfully obtained grant funding from the British Heart Foundation and commercial boat operators to pay for a defibrillator and all the necessary training equipment. She has, to date, trained around 25 people in Adult Basic Life Support and using a defibrillator, including volunteers, staff and local businesses.

Previous Winners

Marcus Topham

Marcus holds a number of volunteering roles with the Canal and River Trust. He is a volunteer lock keeper on the Bingley 5 lock flights, assisting the team to move boats on a regular basis and also working closely with members of the heritage team on a variety of restoration and repair tasks.

Marcus has also taken a lead role in coordinating and organising volunteers to reinstate and refurbish the mile markers along the eastern section of the Leeds Liverpool Canal, working closely with the project officer to ensure that all health and safety, and indeed heritage, requirements were met.

In the last year, Marcus has taken on additional responsibilities, becoming a key lead volunteer in the North West Volunteer Team. This role involves organising volunteer meetings, ordering any additional kit and inducting and supporting new volunteers as they familiarise themselves with the role and the local area.

Peter Bruton

Peter Bruton is the lead volunteer of the Heritage Working Boats team and a volunteer boat skipper in the West Midlands. Peter leads the team of volunteers which maintains the fleet heritage working boats and moves these around the country, representing and promoting the waterways at major events across the network of canals.

He liaises with event organisers, to ensure the Canal & River Trust has a presence at local events and has fought as a as a campaigner and volunteer to promote the importance of heritage boats. Peter’s enthusiasm for his volunteering is limitless, and the profile he has generated for the waterways and for the Canal and River Trust is phenomenal.

John Hawkins, David Payne, Dylan Manning & Emile Khan

In 2015 the Awards recognised three categories of winners.

Heroes of the Waterway Award – John Hawkins

Over the past 35 years John has given his time to his local group, the Rickmansworth Canal Trust, and the Waterway Recovery Group (WRG) and more recently to the Canal & River Trust. In 2014 John volunteered 350 hours with WRG. John has been involved in a large range of tasks including working with local schools and promoting and celebrating the work of fellow volunteers through the production of the WRG member magazine ‘Navvies’.

Explorers Education Award – David Payne

David is the lead volunteer coordinator at the s Foxton Locks in Leicestershire and has been instrumental in both setting up this team and coordinating learning activities.  Over the years David has delivered a range of school activities and has received a number of letters from schools praising the whole team for all their efforts. David always goes “above and beyond” to ensure his team of volunteers and the teachers and children who visit have a warm, educational and enjoyable experience.

Young Volunteer Award – Dylan Manning & Emile Khan 

Dylan volunteers along the Leeds & Liverpool Canal as a member of the Burnley Towpath Taskforce group.  He always demonstrates clear passion and enthusiasm and in his spare time distributes leaflets along the canal promoting anti-littering and has contacted the local media to promote the towpath task days.

Emile has contributed 550 volunteering hours working in the engineering and water teams within the Canal & River Trust. He has used a specialist computer programme to measure the amount of water lost by the canals which has been of great use to hydrologists. Emile is inspiring others as he has also recruited two new volunteers to work with the Canal & River Trust.