Thank you to all of our volunteers
This week is Volunteer Week (running from 1-7 June). One local organisation which wants to say thank you to their volunteers is the Chichester Ship Canal Trust. The Canal is a much loved and valued asset of Chichester, offering a wide range of opportunities for recreation and relaxation on and off the water. Last year the Canal carried over 15,000 passengers on their popular boat trips and served over 34,000 hot drinks at the café.
However many visitors and residents may not realise that the Canal is almost entirely volunteer-run, relying on 140 volunteers throughout the year. The volunteers take on an extraordinary range of activities at the canal, including marketing, towpath maintenance, serving refreshments on boat trips, being a skipper, archiving historic photos and helping customers in the Cafe.
While the Canal presently is quieter than it’s ever been, walkers, cyclists and the occasional paddler are enjoying the peace, and the wildlife is making the most of the endless sunshine. Although the wildlife may have been the centre of attraction of the past few weeks, it’s not all been quiet behind the scenes. Volunteers have been busy, whether it’s progressing governance, attending virtual meetings with local tourist organisations and volunteer management teams, researching funding proposals, fielding questions from the public about fishing and paddle boarding, or cataloguing photos. It shows what a wide range of skills our volunteers have that aren’t always visible.
Trust Vice-Chair Catherine Cannon said ‘We are enormously grateful to our volunteers who give their time to help make the Canal the very special place it is, enjoyed by so many residents and visitors every year. We know from the feedback we receive how much their contribution is appreciated, and we simply couldn’t operate without them. Volunteer Week is a perfect opportunity to recognise their commitment and for us to say a huge thank you’.
Photo credits: Seashorepics.com. Amanda Lambert, Catherine Cannon and Janet Osborne