Volunteer teachers needed for Olympic waterway school visits

EDUCATION volunteers are needed to help bring alive the iconic waterways in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park waterways to local schoolchildren.

The Canal & River Trust is appealing for anyone interested in helping out to get in touch, ahead of a programme of over 40 school visits planned for next year.

The visits are part of the Trust’s project to restore Carpenter’s Road Lock in the heart of the Park. The £1.75million restoration works will be completed in spring 2017, and offer the ideal opportunity to introduce a new generation to the history, science and ecology of the Bow Back Rivers.

The Trust is looking for people who can volunteer flexibly, can commit to at least three to four days a month (mainly week days) – usually between 9am-3.30pm. Training is provided, with the bulk of the school visits happening in March and April 2017. The volunteers will also be making pre-visits to local schools to deliver education sessions.

Joanna Steele, Canal & River Trust heritage activities officer, says: “The Bow Back Rivers that weave through the Park have a fascinating history, they’re home to a huge array of wildlife and have a special role in the community. We’re on the lookout for inspiring volunteers who can bring these stories to life for hundreds of local school children. As a charity we rely so much on volunteers, and their impact is huge. If you’re keen to get involved do get in touch.”

More information about the roles, which will include hosting classes on a floating classrooms, is available at www.canalrivertrust.org.uk/carpentersroadlock To apply directly visit https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/volunteer/opportunities/OPP0004693-explorers-education-volunteer

Carpenters Road Lock is a £1.75 million project – part funded by the Trust, Heritage Lottery Fund, London Legacy Development Corporation and the Inland Waterways Association – which is one of the final pieces of a ten-year programme to restore the Bow Back Rivers and preserve an important part of London’s industrial heritage. The Lock is significant from an engineering point of view, as it had the only ‘double radial lock gates’ in the country. Built in the 1930s this design included two convex-shaped gates that lifted up vertically to enable boats to pass through. In the second half of the 20th-century, the Bow Back Rivers fell out of use and the lock became unusable, with the last passage by boat through the lock recorded in the 1960s. The advent of the London 2012 Games saw major works bringing new life to the waterways in what is now Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The Canal & River Trust’s Explorers education programme help children discover the magic of the nation’s waterways. Volunteers lead sessions for primary schools, cub scouts and brownie groups both in their classrooms and out and about on the canals. 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 aim to introduce a new generation of children and inspire the enthusiasts of tomorrow.

 

For more information about the waterways in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park visit https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/about-us/our-regions/london-waterways/queen-elizabeth-olympic-park-waterways

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