Volunteers at Northampton branch of the Inland Waterways Association receive recognition award

IWA Northampton Branch receives Volunteer Recognition award.
IWA Northampton Branch receives Volunteer Recognition award.

The Northampton branch of the Inland Waterways Association has been presented with a Volunteer Organisation Recognition Award by Canal & River Trust (CRT) South East.

The award is in recognition of the branch’s work carried out along the entire four-mile stretch of the Northampton Arm, Grand Union Canal by volunteer members of IWA Northampton Branch Adoption Group led by Geoff Wood and Mick Butler. The branch adopted the Arm in July 2013 and has since undertaken various works along the waterway to improve the condition of the navigation. This has included painting over half of the locks, litterpicking and vegetation management.

The work has been noticed by users of the Arm as well as the branch receiving formal recognition of its hard work in the form of this award from the local CRT team.

Bernard Morton, chairman of IWA Northampton Branch, said: “We are delighted that the Canal & River Trust has chosen to recognise the hard work of our volunteers with an award. Since we adopted the Northampton Arm over a year ago a great deal has been achieved.

“We are very grateful to the Trust for the support it has given our group, resulting in a very visible transformation.”

The award was presented at CRT’s volunteer Christmas social at Stoke Bruerne, an event for those that volunteer on CRT waterways in the South East region whether as part of CRT Towpath Taskforce or through other groups like IWA Northampton Branch.

John Highmore, volunteer co-ordinator, Canal & River Trust, said: “The Northampton branch of the IWA are worthy recipients of our region’s Volunteer Organisation Recognition Award for 2014. During the past 12 months and beyond, they have recorded a huge number of successes.

“Their task parties along the Northampton Arm Canal have literally transformed the waterway: most of the locks have been repainted, graffiti has been removed, weeds and overhanging branches have been trimmed back, buildings have been spruced up, and the towpaths have been upgraded.

“All the volunteers deserve a huge thank you from everyone at the Canal & River Trust, for their passion, enthusiasm and dedication. Long may their achievements continue.”