People and projects making life better by water

2019_07_04 Waterways Alive finalists small

THE Canal & River Trust has celebrated some of the fantastic work carried out by its teams and volunteers over the past year with the presentation of its annual Waterways Alive Awards in Birmingham.

The awards are open to teams and volunteers from across the charity and the winners showcase the depth and breadth of the work the Trust carries out.


All the finalists were recognised for their particular achievements.  Chief executive Richard Parry announced the winners alongside an award for Apprentice of the Year.

  • Best Community Project: 4Life – putting in place a package of wellbeing volunteering schemes in one of our most deprived communities.
  • Best Wellbeing Project: Let’s Fish! – which enabled 4,000 children across the country to try fishing for the first time.
  • Best Construction, Heritage, Engineering or Environment Project: Stanthorne Repair – a £2.8m repair of a major breach on the Shropshire Union Canal at Middlewich, bringing the canal back into use for boaters.
  • Best Customer Service or Visitor Experience Improvement: Waterways Experiences: Offside Improvements Grand Union Canal – helping a small charity that provides boat trips for the disadvantaged to help the Trust by clearing offside vegetation.
  • Best Innovation or Productivity Improvement: Wigan Flight – took advantage of last summer’s drought closure on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal by carrying out a comprehensive programme of improvements that minimised future disruption to boaters. 
  • Values Team of the Year: Tees Barrage Operatives.
  • Apprentice of the Year: Jonathan Ward. 

Canal & River Trust chief executive, Richard Parry, said: “Our Waterways Alive Awards covered some great projects, initiatives and activities.  The winning projects and teams were all exceptional and reflect the wide variety of activities the Trust carries out.

“Our Values winners – the Tees Barrage Operatives – exemplify our positive spirit; despite their location being remote from the rest of our network, they are using the barrage and the river to create a wide range of opportunities to engage and involve people with the Trust, always friendly, enthusiastic and accommodating, whilst also managing a very significant engineering structure  – you’ll always find a smile and a warm welcome on the Tees!  We also recognised our Apprentice of the Year, Jonathan Ward, an engineering trainee in the bridges team, who’s impressed all his colleagues with his attitude and approach.


“I would like to thank everyone who entered the awards – it was a tough job choosing between the 58 entries – and congratulate all the finalists for their achievements.”

More information about the Waterways Alive Awards winners is available on request.