WRG’s Jude Palmer Chosen as a Finalist for ‘Towpath Talk Volunteer of the Year’17 November 2015
Earlier this year, Towpath Talk asked readers to help them find the first ‘Towpath Talk Volunteer of the Year’ and IWA is delighted to report that Waterway Recovery Group’s Jude Palmer is one of the four finalists. The winner of the competition will be announced early next year.
Many of you will know Jude, as she has been at the heart of IWA's Waterway Recovery Group for nearly 26 years. Her passion for volunteering and canal restoration has ensured hundreds, if not thousands of volunteers have had a fun, rewarding and memorable experience through WRG.
Jude first started canal ‘digging’ with Kent and East Sussex Canal Restoration Group (KESCRG) in 1989, but, through family connections, she was already an avid supporter of the waterways and waterway restoration (in fact her first swing was used to form the foundations of IWA Chelmsford’s Branch stand!). Since then she hasn’t looked back and has been involved in most of the big waterway restoration projects of the last 20 years. In the early 1990s Jude was heavily involved in the restoration efforts on the Montgomery Canal at Aston Nature Reserve; in 1995 she helped coordinate 750 volunteers on the Cotswolds ‘Big Dig’; as well as volunteering on other major project such as the Droitwich Canals (Hanbury Flight and Barge Lock) and helping run IWA’s waterway festivals.
In recent years Jude has focused much of her energy on publicising WRG and waterways restoration at festivals, on local radio and promotional videos, as well as dedicating much time and effort in the background as a member of the WRG Board ensuring WRG’s volunteering activities run smoothly and safely.
Jude is a role model for all WRG volunteers, her positive energy and passion has created a family like atmosphere within WRG and she plays a key role in ensuring WRG’s spirit continues to flow through all volunteers, young or old.
As well as a prestigious title, the winner of the competition will be awarded the prize of a free holiday, worth £1500, courtesy of ABC Boat Hire Holidays. You can find out about the other finalists and vote online on the Towpath Talk website or complete the form found in the November issue of the publication. Readers' votes will represent 25% of the final ballot and votes need to reach Towpath Talk by December 31st 2015.