Marsh Volunteer Team Award with the Canal and River Trust

This Award is run in partnership with the Canal and River Trust.

The Award recognises 6 teams of volunteers throughout the UK who have made a valuable contribution to the Canal and River Trust and is an opportunity to thank outstanding volunteers. These volunteers contribute their time and skills which are a huge asset to 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: 2018 Marsh Impact Volunteer Award winner Michelle Hale

Wigan Lock Keepers, The Saltaire & Shipley Taskforce , The Pattern Casting Cataloguing Team, South Derbyshire Towpath Taskforce, Paddle Gear Engineering Project Team, Aidan's Wonder Team 2019

North West – Wigan Lock Keepers

The Wigan Flight Lock Keepers, as they are known now, have been active for over 5 years. Together they not only facilitate passage for boaters, but are an essential team for maintaining water and functionality of the flight and therefore the canal that proceeds it. They all pitch in to go above and beyond the call of duty. The sense of comradery between themselves, and their relationship with staff, is excellent. They work in collaboration with staff to achieve mutually beneficial results and they are a positive and essential asset to the Can; and River Trust.

Yorkshire & North East – The Saltaire & Shipley Taskforce

The team’s vision is a bold one: to transform a 4 mile stretch of the Leeds/Liverpool Canal. The aim is to improve the space over time, creating an inter linking series of beautiful gardens, interesting sculptures, murals, wildlife habitats and interpretation boards. The overall impact will be the enrichment of both the lives of both the group and the many hundreds of towpath users. This team are greatly appreciated for their commitment and going over and above what is required of them. They are innovative and uphold the values of the Canal and River Trust completely.

West Midlands – The Pattern Casting Cataloguing Team at Ellesmere Yard (Dr Maurice Ward, Keith Scargill, David Morris)

Maurice, David & Keith have been chosen for the mammoth effort of cataloguing a collection of casting patterns at Ellesmere Yard. Giving over 800 hours in total, they have taken 2,000 photographs and added 1,500 records to the National Waterways Museum database.  They have carefully recorded all the patterns, some from the late 1800’s, which represent an invaluable collection that will be enjoyed by staff and the public for many years to come.

East Midlands – South Derbyshire Towpath Taskforce (Luke Butler, Julie Hayrich, Julie Lockett, Chris Marriott, Bob Chapman, Dave Hooper, Ian Webb, Mike Taylor, Sue Quigley, Charlie Welford, Neil Welford)

South Derbyshire Towpath Taskforce have made a big difference to the waterway users by tackling a large project at Derwent Mouth on the River Trent. The team of volunteer’s hard work has enabled a stretch of navigation, that was only wide enough for one boat to pass, to become 5 meters wide. The team did this by removing sunken and rooted vegetation and silt from the river.

The team have made the Canal and River Trust more visible within the area. They have shown incredible grit and determination to complete the works in a very short time scale, accompanied with testing weather conditions which saw them breaking ice to get the boat out!

Wales & South West – Paddle Gear Engineering Project Team (Dave Newman, Chris Hodnett & Nick Hopkins)

This Team have shown great dedication to restoring paddle gearing on the Kennet & Avon Canal. They have established a paddle gear engineering workshop at Newbury, which has seen them utilising their hydraulic engineering experience. They have tracked down documentation from various vaults and libraries and have created a centre of excellence for our unusual hydraulic gear. The team have also delivered the spindle replacement programme for the hydraulic barrels.

London & South East – Aidan’s Wonder Team

As the Canal and River Trust’s local team leader, Aidan Slater has put together a highly regarded team of volunteers lovingly named Aidan’s Wonder Team. Their support has been crucial to operational works on the canals within Central London. The team are dedicated to making a real difference to the canal system. They have surpassed the boundaries of what constitutes ‘regular’ volunteering and have really broken the mould to show what is possible.