“water adds value… enabling communities and individuals to achieve great things together”
Wilts & Berks Canal Trust is a members & volunteer organisation with a proven track record over many years in developing and implementing training courses and experience placements to enable our members to engage with our project, become volunteers and achieve their individual goals.
We have undertaken this work in a supportive and inclusive environment, where each volunteer is appreciated and valued for whatever contribution they can give no matter their activity level, age, gender or social and economic circumstances.
We have trained volunteers in the use of dumpers and excavators: volunteers have been given knowledge and experience to enable them to undertake brick laying, strimming, hedge-laying and narrow boat skippering: design engineering, IT skills, hospitality and event management and presentation skills have all been part of our ongoing training programmes: H&S knowledge and competency, magazine production, graphic design and layout, financial and book keeping skills, administration and record keeping, gardening, painting and decorating… the list of skills and knowledge available to our volunteers via professional training and managed experience learning is endless.
The Future for Community Engagement … a new active model
The Transitions Project
WBCT now has the capacity and the opportunity to extend our reach to include other communities along our canal: we are using our HQ building at Dauntsey Lock as a safe learning environment for the development of a series of programmes aimed at individuals who need help to engage with their communities.
We will do this by providing individual integrated programmes of courses and work placements leading to assessment based competency certificates. We will use canal related learning as an integral part of the project, using our heritage, our environment and our volunteer skills to create a unique experience for our participants with the expectation that we will all share in the learning process.
We are partnering with many organisations along our canal line from Melksham through Swindon and into Oxfordshire, to provide an exciting, challenging but supportive learning and work placement experiences to enable vulnerable individuals in need to take that step forward in their lives, to identify their goals and, with work and fun, to achieve them with our help.
When the pilot is proved, we are looking at model being transferred to other waterway organisations. Presentations have already been made to Wiltshire Council, Stroud District Council, Canal & River Trust and regional government and organisations in the Brabant area of the Netherlands and have generated great interest and support.
A new way of looking at volunteering and community engagement within the WBCT and wider in the Waterways movement
Together we can do great things… come and join us