Dirty boots, clean shoes… or even one of each!

There are plenty of opportunities to get involved along our canal, whether you want to spend time outdoors getting stuck into hands on restoration work, or if you prefer to help from the comfort of your sofa.


Dirty boots volunteeringRayBasil

 From work on the restoration itself… and yes it does involve muddy boots, but also learning how to drive diggers and dumpers, laying bricks, pruning hedges, planting wildflowers… and many other outdoor tasks. We aren’t kidding when we call it an “outdoor gym”!

We have tackled some ambitious projects and made great progress thanks to the skills and efforts of Wilts and Berks Canal Trust (WBCT) members combined with help from Waterways Recovery Group (WRG) on some of the projects. Looking forward there will be plenty of opportunities for interesting and challenging work. We are looking for bricklayers as well as drivers for dumpers and excavators, and people to do general outdoor work like path clearance.

A quote from one of our dirty boots volunteers:

“Our restoration, maintenance and refurbishment has its challenges but these are overcome by team work. The team is made up of volunteers just like me who want to make a difference. Whether these differences are improving the access to the countryside, saving industrial heritage or improving the habitat for wildlife and plants these differences not only enhance the lives of people. These people are not only visitors who benefit from our labours but also us volunteers who enjoy being a part of the success that is the WBCT”
- Dave, Sustainable Usage Manager


Clean shoes volunteeringMelkshamF gazebo

Volunteers can often be found well away from mud and water in shopping centres and at local carnivals or similar events talking about all the different work we do and trying to recruit new members. We need help with engineering things, legal things, fundraising things and the list of other things seems endless so, if you have a talent we will be able to find a cosy little spot for you, so that we can develop from you and you can develop with us.

A quote from one of our clean shoes volunteers:

“I reached out to the WBCT to offer my help from afar, I’m not very physically ept but I know my way around a computer; so I’ve been given lots of opportunities to put my skill set to use, helping with the website, designing promotional materials and supporting the communications team. I’m only a few months in but already I feel like I’ve really made a difference despite never leaving my sofa!”
- Holly, 2020 WBCT volunteer


Who we are looking for...


Flexible roles

As well as advertising for certain niche skills we are in need of, we always want to hear from anyone who wants to help. Just get in touch and tell us about yourself, including any skills or areas of interest, and we’ll help you to find a spot in our organisation to suit you. If you'd like to join our friendly team and share in our achievements, please get in touch via our Branches or e-mail us at info@wbct.org.uk

Specific roles

There is a dedicated page for the current list of vacancies. Please click this link: Current Vacancies


Corporate volunteering

2019 July 31 ArvalCompany days out - many local firms have visited us for a fun day away from the office/workplace volunteering on canal restoration. We have a variety of jobs always on offer depending upon the time of year and the physical abilities and numbers of visitors. Work can be arranged for small groups (two or three) up to about 50, for an hour or two up to a full day.

Volunteering Days usually involve physical labour, we can supply the tools, materials and equipment and all the training and instruction required for the planned works. We can provide basic on-site welfare facilities and light refreshments, or if you'd like something more substantial, BBQs/Pub lunches etc. can all be arranged to suit our visitors (yes - we do allow breaks!)

Many hands make light work, and with the ever-increasing workload not just in restoration but in maintenance, the same principle can be applied anywhere. So if you are reading this and belong to, or are aware of, a company or organisation that's into helping their local community, please find out who their volunteer co-ordinator is and ask them to get in touch here. The consistent message we hear back from volunteers is "It was fun!".


Recording volunteer hours

The Trust records the volunteer hours given to the project as your hours help with fundraising for the Trust. The hours are taken into consideration for matched funding and for grant applications.

The blank log can be downloaded here (Blank Log) and, when complete, it should be returned to juanita.poulton@wbct.org.uk. The blank log contains detailed instructions on how to fill in the form; if anyone would like more help, please do not hesitate to contact me. I thank all of you who have prepared and submitted their volunteer hours in the past and look forward to hearing from you in the future.

Juanita Poulton