A NATIONAL volunteering award has been presented to 27 volunteers from the Active Waterways Cheshire project by the Canal & River Trust and the Marsh Charitable Trust.
The Marsh Trust Awards celebrate volunteer excellence and the amazing range of activities delivered by teams and individuals across CRT’s network in England and Wales.
In the North West region, a group of volunteer walk leaders were recently presented with their awards at a special ceremony held at Anderton Boat Lift, near Northwich.
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The Cheshire volunteers are all involved in leading guided walks programmes in Chester, Ellesmere Port, Nantwich, Northwich and Macclesfield as part of the three-year Active Waterways project, delivered in partnership with Sport England, to encourage over 55s in the county to get active and feel better by water.
Poppy Learman, Active Waterways Cheshire project leader for the Canal & River Trust, said: “The volunteer walk leaders are an inspiration and I offer my congratulations to them all. They had to adapt quickly to changes forced on us by Covid-19, supporting the Active Waterways team to deliver online programmes during the lockdown periods.
“Since the easing of restrictions, they have returned to guiding the12-week walking programmes across the county. For many participants who were socially isolated during lockdown, this was their first time socialising and participating in group activities again.”
She continued: “Active Waterways volunteers share their enthusiasm of the canal and river networks and their knowledge of the local history, heritage, flora and fauna. They often integrate mindfulness activities into the walks and invite participants to socialise further after the walk over a coffee.
“Many have now been volunteering for several 12-week programmes – a testament to their dedication to this worthwhile project and the joy that it brings people.”
Christine Mellor, head of volunteering at Canal & River Trust, added: “The past 18 months have been challenging with the coronavirus pandemic affecting volunteering and I was so thankful to see our volunteers back in force as the restrictions eased.
“I’d encourage anyone who is interested in volunteering for the trust to get in touch – there are so many opportunities on our website in your local area. Come along and get involved!”
Marsh Charitable Trust chairman said: “This year we have been able to celebrate the achievements of more volunteers, both individuals and teams, across six regions of the UK and we hope to continue to highlight these invaluable commitments in years to come.”
North West 2021 award winners are: Keith Pickton, Stuart Goode, David Hall, Janet Pitwell, Jacqui Dunbavin, Lynn Johnson, Steven Tideswell, Tom Dawson, Catherine Golightly, Malcolm Craig, Christopher Evans, Rosemary Smith, Paula Ford, John Brighouse, Kath Ward, Eileen Room, Karen Waters, Tim Purrier, Wendy Thomas, Jim Robertson, Beverley Moore, William Taylor, John Goodman, Kathryn Broad, Graham Percival, Jeff Fairweather and Jennifer Budworth.
For more information about the work of the Canal & River Trust, including how you can volunteer or donate, visit www.canalrivertrust.org.uk
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