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Monday 22 April 2019

Canal Volunteers

Towpath Taskforce

Would you like to meet new people, enjoy some healthy exercise in the great outdoors and make a difference to your local canal?  Volunteer Towpath Taskforce teams could be just the thing you're looking for.
At 10:00am on Wednesday, 1st May a new Towpath Taskforce Team for Hyndburn will be launched.  The launch will take place alongside the Leeds and Liverpool Canal at Rishton Bridge No 108A, Hermitage Street, Rishton opposite the Canal Café.  The launch format will be the first ‘Hyndburn  Work party’ session and volunteers are needed.
Barbara Sharples, Activity Organiser at PROSPECTS explained, “There are Towpath Taskforce Volunteer Teams for Blackburn, Burnley, Nelson and Colne so we felt Hyndburn was missing out.    Several of the PROSPECTS Panels, including Rishton, Clayton-le-Moors and Church PROSPECTS Panels, have done a lot of work on sections of the canal over the years.  The PROSPECTS Foundation is pleased to be working alongside the Canal and River Trust to start up a Hyndburn team of volunteers during our 21st Anniversary year.
“The canal enters Hyndburn at Whitebirk, where the retail park occupies the site of Blackburn’s former power station.  It leaves Hyndburn near Altham Barn Bridge No 118 so we have a large area to cover and plenty to do.  Initially we will be working on urban sections and key entrances to the canal towpath where work is most needed but eventually, we hope to include some of the more rural sections.”
Towpath Taskforce is ideal if you want to volunteer on your local canal, but need the flexibility to fit that volunteering around a busy lifestyle. This way you can go along whenever you’re free, whether that’s once a month or more regularly.
Gary Wilkinson, Volunteer Team Leader for the Canal and River Trust added, ”Tasks vary on a regular basis and can include lock-painting, hedge-planting, weeding gardens, litter-clearance from land and water, repairing towpaths and more - depending on what’s most needed in that area.
“On arrival volunteers will be greeted by myself and I will run through what’s to be done that day, assign tasks and demonstrate the safe use of any equipment. I will help to make sure the task is suited to an individual’s ability and be on hand throughout the session to provide help, advice and the all-important tea and biscuits.
“Volunteers should let us know they are coming in advance, so we can look out for them and let them know of any last-minute changes.  They should wear suitable outdoor clothing they don’t mind getting mucky or snagged.  Sturdy shoes are a must.  For full day sessions they should bring a packed lunch and we will provide a hot drink but they may also want to bring their own.  Wear waterproof clothing or sunscreen — depending on the weather.  They do not need to bring any tools as all tools and equipment are provided for the tasks to be undertaken on the day.”
People wishing to volunteer can find details at  Simply enter the distance they wish to travel, their postcode and the dates they are interested in volunteering.  Under Filter by Volunteering Task select ‘Practical’, then hit the SEARCH button and the Hyndburn Towpath Taskforce sessions should appear.
Alternatively, people can contact Barbara Sharples at PROSPECTS to get involved or to find out more about Towpath Taskforce – Hyndburn.  For more information contact:  Barbara Sharples, Activity Organiser at PROSPECTS, email:  Tel: 01254 230348 ext: #208.