Volunteer Focus

Ju and Darren

Tell me a bit about yourself:

JU: I got involved about 10 years ago, I saw a lot of people in red shirts at the IWA national and thought I would love to do that. My first ever dig was with WRGNW at Nob End on the Manchester Bolton and Bury canal. At first I was a bit confused as why we were taking down healthy shrubs and trees but it was explained to me how they can damage the canal sides. I found the Nationals really hard work sometimes but they were definitely one of my favourite things to do. I have now assisted and co-lead quite a few camps and loved meeting new and old faces. I love it and haven’t looked back.

DARREN: I first got involved at the 2013 IWA National as a taxi driver for Ju. Was a bit dubious about the whole thing but after a few days I had made more friends and felt involved. At first I couldn’t understand why Ju would pay to go and work on the canals but having done a few digs I now see the progress that can be done in just a few days and love been a WRGie.

What new skills have you learnt since volunteering for WRG?

JU: I have been trained in Scaffolding, Loading and Securing, on Diggers and Dumpers, Tractors, Tractors and Site trailers, Mini Buses and Trailers and Chippers. Also how to Co-operate with so many different people. 

DARREN: I have learnt a lot more social skills but I am looking forward to learning new skills and machinery skills.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering with WRG?

JU: I love the work and seeing the progress and difference we make on so many canals. I also love the social side and the fantastic family you all become. I basically just can’t put it into words I just love all aspects of WRG.

DARREN: Getting out and about and meeting new and old friends.

In your opinion why is WRG so important?

JU: I feel we are a vital part of the Waterways restoration and the help we give at putting up and pulling down of festivals.

DARREN: I like to see things restored and just enjoy going.

What’s your proudest WRG moment?

JU: It is definitely when I realised I was a WRGie and a regular

DARREN: It was receiving a plaque at the National at Cassiobury Park for not really wanting to go. I was dragged by Ju and ended up loving it by the end of the camp.


Julia and Darren

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