Waterways charity seeks young blood for the future

National waterways and wellbeing charity, the Canal & River Trust, is encouraging young people to join a new programme to help shape its future direction and broaden the waterways’ appeal to all ages.

The Trust, which looks after 2,000 miles of waterways across England and Wales, has traditionally had an older supporter base but the Youth Fellowship Programme will help gain the fresh perspectives that younger people can bring and will create a pathway for a new generation of waterway supporters and enthusiasts.

The voluntary 12-month programme will support more young people, aged 18 to 25, to join the Trust’s regional and national advisory boards to have a say in the charity’s decision-making processes.

Fellows will design and manage a three to six-month project that will bring new thinking to an area the Trust wants to strengthen, with a national project looking at how it can grow engagement amongst young people, who are currently underrepresented amongst its volunteers, workforce and visitors.

Chief executive Richard Parry said: “Representation and equity are at the heart of the Youth Fellowship Programme. Close to nine million of us live within 1km of a canal or river and there’s a real opportunity to engage more young people who currently aren’t benefiting from spending time in these amazing green and blue spaces.

“Fellows will take the lead in looking at how we can make the waterways relevant and attractive to a new generation, embracing diversity and anchoring the canals’ importance in the communities they run through. In turn, we will support them to become true role models for other young people in their communities, as well as the wider charity and environmental sector.”

Fellows will receive training around project planning and management, practical delivery of activities, impact measurement, public speaking, leading teams, event management and more. They will be able to represent the Trust at high profile events and conferences to share their experiences and help to raise the awareness of the Trust’s work with new audiences.

Recruitment for the Youth Fellowship Programme is taking place between 16 August and 6 September with Fellows starting from mid-September.

For more detailed information on what the Fellowships offer, click here.

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