'Join the Daves': Canal & River Trust out to recruit iconic lock keepers in Pendle

Offering people the chance to take up the historic and iconic role of lock keeper on some of Lancashire's waterways, the Canal & River Trust has launched a campaign to recruit more volunteers, urging folks to 'Join the Daves'.

Canal & River Trust has launched a campaign to recruit more volunteers
Canal & River Trust has launched a campaign to recruit more volunteers

With Dave being the most common name among the trust’s already-established army of helpful volunteers, the national waterways and well-being charity is out to find men and women - they're looking for new Barbaras and Karens, the leading female names, too - from all backgrounds to carry out this crucial task, in particular at the Barrowford and Barnoldswick Locks on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.

From helping boats through locks, clearing vegetation, and maintaining towpaths to teaching children via the charity’s education programme, the role has the potential to be highly fulfilling for anyone willing to give back and be a part of one of the county's most important features.

“The nation’s canal and rivers go through such a diversity of cities, towns, and villages and this is reflected in our volunteers," said Alice Kay, the trust's Volunteer Development Coordinator. "We’ve people from an amazing array of communities and backgrounds; we’d love to continue to welcome dedicated ‘Daves' and brilliant ‘Barbaras' to our volunteering teams in Lancashire.

"We would really like them to be joined by new names and faces so that we can do even more in 2019 to ensure the county’s canals are havens for people and wildlife," Alice added. “In particular we’re looking for people to help bring their local canal to life for everyone who visits."

To support the recruitment drive and showcase the benefits of volunteering, the Canal & River Trust penned a poem to get people to 'Join the Daves' which can be watched at https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/volunteer.

"It’s an iconic role, with volunteer lock keepers often known as the ‘face of the canals’, and great for anyone who likes spending time outside and talking to people," Alice explained. "We value each and every one of our volunteers and appreciate everything they do to help look after our historic waterways.

"In return we do all we can to ensure they have opportunities to learn new skills and meet new people in a friendly and supportive environment," she continued. “We believe that anything you do to spend more time by water is good for your mental and physical well-being, so that’s an extra benefit for everyone.”

To apply for a volunteer lock keeper role head to: www.canalrivertrust.org.uk/volunteer/opportunities. The closing date for applications is 31st January with training to take place in Spring and volunteers will be in post from April to October.