PRESS RELEASE: Waterway Recovery Group Receives Commendation at Living Waterways Awards

Issue date: 26th September 2014

The Inland Waterways Association’s Waterway Recovery Group (WRG) received a Commendation at Canal and River Trust’s (CRT) Living Waterways Awards ceremony, which took place on 24th September 2014 at the Royal Armouries in Leeds.

The Commendation was awarded for a joint Building Bridges project between CRT and WRG, which was nominated for the Community and Volunteering Award.

The main aim of this project is to improve working relations with the CRT, using three to four projects to develop a suitable framework, allowing volunteers to work on more technical projects with CRT in the future. At the end of the project, WRG will create the handbook ‘Bridge Restoration Guide for Volunteers’ which can be used by community groups and adoption groups to undertake more technical restoration work along their waterways. It is hoped that by working together, attitudes will change and volunteers will be actively encouraged to preserve structures along our linear national parks – the canals of England and Wales.

WRG and CRT will also be working on Bridge 178 on the Grand Union Canal, in partnership with Black Jack Locks Restoration Association. Re-pointing work will be carried out on the bridge from Friday 10th until Sunday 12th of October 2014. The Bridge will be repainted and finished in spring of 2015.

WRG’s Assistant Volunteer Coordinator, Amber Jenkins, who received the award on behalf of WRG, along with dedicated WRG volunteer George Rogers, said “The Commendation for WRG recognises what can be achieved when organisations work together for the benefit of the waterways. WRG volunteers have an exceptional collective knowledge of the historical and technical aspects of waterway structures, as well as a tireless dedication to seeing them restored.”

The awards themselves were split into eight different categories. The categories and winners were as follows:

  • Art and Interpretation; Rochdale Canal Connections,
  • Contribution to the Built Environment; Scale Lane Bridge,
  • Community and Volunteering; Wirral Community Narrowboat Trust,
  • Education and Learning; Floating Cinema,
  • Natural Environment; River Irwell.
  • Recreation and Tourism; Stoke Bruerne Events,
  • Restoration of Historic Environments; “Relighting the Fire” of Ellesmere Forge and the
  • Outstanding Achievement Award went to Sonia Rolt.

The Living Waterways Awards seek to recognise exceptional projects that are helping to care for canals and rivers across the UK.

Tony Hales, Chairman of the Canal & River Trust, said: “The Living Waterways Awards celebrate the individuals, communities and organisations that have done the most to make a difference to the nation’s historic canals and rivers - making them exciting places to live, learn and spend time.

“Our panel of independent experts, headed up by Helen Carey, has been tremendously impressed with the quality of projects submitted. There’s so much to learn so much from these achievements and we wish everyone many congratulations on their tremendous success.”

WRG would like to thank everyone that contributed to making the Building Bridges Project a success.


Please contact Amber Jenkins for further information at or call 01494 783453 ex 604

Notes for Editors:
Waterway Recovery Group (WRG) is part of The Inland Waterways Association (IWA) which is a registered charity, founded in 1946, which advocates the conservation, use, maintenance, restoration and development of the inland waterways for public benefit. We have around 16,000 members and over 350 corporate members with a combined membership representing a voice of over 65,000 people supporting and involved with the inland waterways.

Volunteering with WRG is a great experience for anyone who loves being outdoors and enjoys meeting people from different backgrounds and of different ages (18+). WRG offer volunteers a fantastic chance to learn new skills such as bricklaying; stone walling; machine operation and restoration techniques! Each week costs £56 which includes food and accommodation. WRG has launched its 2014 Canal Camps – for more details go to the WRG website