Volunteering

Interested in giving us a hand restoring the canal in the Shrivenham area to create a lasting local amenity?

We hold weekly work-parties most Wednesdays.

Individual Volunteers.
We have volunteering opportunities for people of all ages, abilities and skills. You really don’t have to be fit or even able-bodied. From a few days a week to a few hours a year at times to suit you!
We have jobs to suit everyone; sitting down, indoor ‘office’ jobs as well as the physically demanding, very vigorous (outdoor gym stuff!) jobs down on the cut itself.
Those who wish to join in Branch activities on a more permanent basis can become Branch Members and join our regular Wednesday or occasional monthly work-parties.

Just volunteer! It really is a most worthwhile environmental project, its fun and rewarding.

Like to help but for one reason or another are not able to? Well you can still help by donating tools, equipment, materials or by a straight donation (we always have more projects than money!) 

Corporate Volunteering – ‘company 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 supply all the tools, materials, and equipment etc; also all the training and instruction required for the planned tasks. We also have basic on-site welfare facilities.

On-site lunchtime refreshments, picnics and BBQs are easily arranged to suit our visitors. We can supply the food and drinks etc or you can bring your own. Yes! We do take breaks and also have some picnic chairs and tables etc and can supply hot water.

Alternatively, we can also arrange local pub lunches, in their dining room, bar or garden.


For further details on volunteering please contact  alan.norris@wbct.org.uk

 Our corporate volunteers have been busy ..............

 

 2019

 27th November 2019 - The 11 strong team from Nationwide were not so lucky with the weather but still enjoyed the day clearing the towpath.

2019 November Nationwide

 

20th November 2019 - Another team from Arval chose a fine day to do more clearance along the canal bank by the Park.

Arval November 2019 at the Park

 

13th November 2019 - A team of three from local company Montala joined branch volunteers to clear up the debris at Tuckmill Brook. What they may have lacked in numbers, they made up with effort.

A lovely day in the autumn sunshine. We look forward to more of their company returning.

Montala November 2019 at Tuckmill

 

16th October 2019 - The first visit from Business West. Three brave folk from the Swindon office volunteered to work in the Park. Fortunately they chose the one day in weeks that it has not rained and tackled the surrounds of the second pond.

Both our ponds are now refilling after the dry summer.

Business West October 2019

 

2nd October 2019 - Thames Water visited us with a team of 11 on another lovely sunny day down in the cut by the Park, to clear more of the canal and have a jolly good burn-up.

 

Thames Water Oct 2019

 Thames Water Oct 2019

25th September 2019 - Nationwide joined us again on a rather damp day, but the effort of the 13
strong team was not dampened. They got to work clearing one of the remaining patches of
bramble that encroach on the canal between the Park and Tuckmill Brook. 

Nationwide Sept 2019

 

18th September 2019 - Capita joined us for the first time with a superb team numbering 16.

They fixed a number of bird boxes around the Park and got to clearing the scrub from the canal and towpath at Tuckmill Brook.

Capita Sept 2019

Capita Sept 2019

17th September 2019 - Arval were back again with a group of six, who cleared out one of the seasonal ponds on the Park (now dry) and had a good burn-up of the debris left from the previous works parties.

Arval Sept 2019

Arval Sept 2019

21st August 2019 - Another excellent team from Arval. This time, eight volunteers got to work clearing out the drainage ditch at the back of our Park; this being necessary to prevent the adjacent lane flooding.

2019 Aug Arval

 

31st July 2019 - Our second team from Arval this month! Six enthusiastic volunteers tidied the entrance to the Park, seeded grass around the new path, repositioned the footpath sign and also continued the clearance of the canal bed towards Tuckmill Brook.

2019 July Arval

 

17th July 2019 - We welcomed our first team of volunteers from Thames Water on another scorching hot day. A dozen energetic folk completed the path started by Nationwide last week and then continued with the canal clearance towards Tuckmill Brook. Jobs well done.

 

2019 July Thames Water

2019 July Thames Water

12th July 2019 - More teams from Nationwide! The Financial Controls & Operations and Squad Departments, numbering 42 - our largest ever group, progressed four tasks.

A "heavy mob" extended the surfaced path in the Park, no easy job removing the rock-hard turf and shifting the stone on a hot day.

A second demanding job was to continue clearing the canal bed eastwards.

The third group carried out essential clipping of the hedgerows to keep the footpaths safe.

The fourth group were able to work in the shade of the Park copse gathering dead branches to create 12 habitat piles.

A full day with lots to show at the end, but it was not all graft, everyone enjoyed an on-site break for a buffet lunch in the shade of the trees.

July 19 Nationwide

 

 

 

 

2019 July NW

2019 July NW

2019 July Nationwide

2019 July Nationwide

 

 

 

 

2019 July Nationwide

9th July 2019 - Arval returned with a team to maintain the footpath to the north of the Park, before & after photos show the difference.

2019 July Arval

2019 July Arval

3rd July 2019 - Nationwide returned with an energetic  team of 15 on another very hot day and together with an equally enthusiastic group of 7 of from Intel, that joined us for the afternoon, about 100m of the canal was cleared eastwards from the Park.

Nationwide July 2019

Intel July 2019

5th June 2019 - Another group of 18 volunteers from Nationwide came for a day out to do some hard work along the canal towpath between Station Road & Stainswick Lane in Shrivenham. The path here was almost impassable due to the rapid spring growth of annuals.

On a glorious sunny day, teams from 'Compliance Oversite' and 'Branch Transformation' got going and by the end of the day the 630m path was again clear for public use.

Towpath to Station Road

 Towpath to Station Road

Towpath to Station Road

23rd April 2019 - Nationwide provided a team of 22! They beavered away clearing and burning the last of the debris along the length to Tuckmill Brook and also some lying in the length through our Canalside Park.

At long last this section is virtually tidy.

Nationwide two April 2019

Nationwide two April 2019

Our first corporate work-party of 2019 was held on 10th April - 10 volunteers from the Nationwide Building Society risk assessment team enjoyed the sunshine and heaped up piles of debris cut last year, that lay along the canal to Tuckmill Brook, some under water after the winter rains and then had several bonfires. 

Nationwide April 2019  Nationwide April 2019

2018


Towards Tuckmill Feb 2019

   The autumn work-parties have certainly made a difference, changing what looked rather like an overgrown ditch to an obvious canal. With a little more water we could even float a boat!  
Team ArvalTeam Arval   19th November 2018 - A cold day down on the cut, but we had another team from Arval to carry on the clearance from the Park to Tuckmill. Their Sales Team, some travelling a great distance to be with us, put in a superb amount of effort and finsihed the removal of brambles.  
NPower Front Office TeamNPower Front Office Team   15th November 2018 - On a lovely autumnal day, a team 14 strong from the NPower Front Office attacked yet more brambles & scrub to clear more of the canal bed and banks. All we need to do now is dispose of the heaps of debris!  
Nationwide Treasury TeamNationwide Treasury Team   7th November 2018 - A group from Nationwide Building Society made a most welcome return.
Severn hardy volunteers from the Treasury Team braved rain and wind to clear more scrub from another length of canal near our Park, but they appeared to enjoy it!
 
Defence Academy Team Oct 2018Defence Academy Team Oct 2018  

October 2018 - A second team from the Defence Academy-JFD HQ Resources Dept.
12 hard-working volunteers put in a full day of scrub clearance and "recovered" the canal nearly to Tuckmill Brook.

 
Defence Academy Team Oct 2018    

Defence Academy Team Sept 2018Defence Academy Team Sept 2018

Defence Academy Team Sept 2018Defence Academy Team Sept 2018

 

 Sept 2018 - We welcomed 23 volunteers from the Defence Academy DCDC department, who cleared the brambles from 100m of the canal bank east of our Park. This section being totally dry at the time.

 
  Wednesday work-party with Arval - Stainswick to Station Road - July 182nd Group from Arval - Stainswick to Station Road - July 18  

July 2018 - Two groups of energetic volunteers from Arval, kept the towpath open from Stainswick Lane to
Station Road, despite it being one of the summer's very hot days.

 

  London WRG on Steppingstone Lane Bridge end June 18 - photo Martin Ludgate

 

End June 2018 - London WRG cut and fixed the coping stones to the western parapet of Steppingstone Lane bridge, so completing the bridge rebuild.

 
 Completion of towpath by Station Road - May 18  

May 2018 - A branch work-party completed the surfacing of the towpath adjacent to Station Road Shrivenham.