Ian Moore - Volunteer of the Month
Ian Moore is the Honorary Secretary for IWA West Riding Branch, as well as acting Chair and Navigation Officer. He tells us about his volunteering experiences in this month's blog.
What does your role as Branch Secretary involve?
My role is anything that involves correspondence. As we have neither a navigation officer nor a planning officer, I do have to get involved in these areas too. Thus, for example, at the last couple of Canal & River Trust Manchester, Pennine & Potteries user forums, I’ve been asking for progress updates on them as well as installing a new waterpoint at Walsden on the Rochdale Canal. Plus, last year I individually e-mailed every prospective parliamentary candidate of the major parties in our branch area asking them to support the IWA manifesto in the run up to the 2017 general election (we have 25 parliamentary constituencies falling wholly or partially within our branch area).
What ongoing projects and campaigns is IWA West Riding Branch involved with currently?
Nationally, the IWA is running a campaign to improve boaters’ facilities. Since the Branch committee doesn’t have time to look at all the facilities in our area, we are hoping to encourage our members to report the gaps, and I have just written a bit for the branch newsletter about this.
Locally, with regards to campaigns, we don’t currently have one so it’s more about continuing to remind Canal & River Trust about things they have already agreed to address.
Why do you believe it is so important to maintain relationships with other organisations?
I think it is important to try and maintain links because we have seen the issues that can arise through poor communications. Plus, having a dialogue gives you a chance to sort out a potential problem before it becomes a problem and gives you access to possible opportunities to improve the waterways.
So our dialogue at the moment tends to be with the Canal & River Trust and I attend the user forums of the three waterway units that currently fall within our Branch area.
If you were to suggest a particular section of waterway to visit in the area where would you recommend?
There are so many interesting waterways in our branch it is difficult to suggest one section. If you want iconic structures, we have the Bingley Five Rise (shown in the photo) and the Stanley Ferry Aqueduct. But there are lots of interesting waterway walks, such as through Walton Cutting and Haw Park on the Barnsley Canal. Or down the Huddersfield Canal from Marsden to Slaithwaite, both of which have railway stations and a regular bus service. Or up the Springs Branch of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal in Skipton, if you want a shorter walk.
What do you enjoy most about volunteering with IWA?
The sense of contributing to something that matters.
What is your proudest IWA moment?
Nothing in particular springs to mind that I can take credit for. You could say this interview, since I know that there are people who have done much more for the waterways than I have. In my experience it is more a matter of small achievements and working with other people.
What would you say to someone considering volunteering with their local IWA branch?
Get on and do it. Find the activity that pleases you and gives you a sense of accomplishment.
It is the job of the branch membership to run the branch. Thus what a branch does is down to the number of and the skills of the people volunteering. With a small committee you simply have to consider your skill set and the branch priorities. This means - much as you might not like it - one has to accept that there are things that we can't do. And this is something one occasionally has to remind the membership of. But one can look at things like getting another organisation involved. It is a matter of doing the best you can with the resources you have.
Ian Moore is one of IWA's valued volunteers. Each year, during June, we celebrate Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June) and the much appreciated work of all our volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering for IWA see more on our Volunteers' Page.
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