In early Feb of this year, Elmet and Rothwell Member of Parliament, Alec Shelbrooke, paid a visit to Woodlesford Lock on the Aire Calder Canal to get a view of the results of the partnership between Yorkshire Water and the Canal & River Trust.
Located about five miles from Leeds, Woodlesford is a favourite destination for walkers who enjoy the lovely countryside along the towpath of the canal.
Yorkshire Water is fully committed to encouraging employee volunteering and not just because of the fact that it helps deliver environmental and community benefits. The company believes spending team building time away from normal duties and volunteering is beneficial to the wellbeing of its colleagues. The company has volunteering partnerships with the Aire Rivers Trust, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Sheffield Wildlife Trust, RSPB and the Canal & River Trust.
In 2013, a mile-long stretch of the canal at Woodlesford Lock was adapted by the company for its employee volunteer programme. Since then, 192 employees including 50 last year gave up some of their time to improve and maintain the Lock. Some of the walls and fences had been submerged under water for some of the winter and these were given a fresh coat of paint. The towpath had minor repairs carried out, with volunteers clearing away encroaching grass on the path and removing the invasive plant species; Himalayan balsam.
Representatives from Yorkshire Water and the Canal & River Trust met up with Mr Shelbrooke on Friday, February 10th. He viewed the great work done by the Canal & River Trust and the hard work put in by Yorkshire Water volunteers to help keep our water ways as special as they are as places for everyone to visit and relax.
Anne Reed who manages Yorkshire Water’s Volunteering Programme said: “We encourage our employees to take time out from the office volunteering to help with the upkeep of well-loved, popular places like Woodlesford Lock. It’s a win-win situation for us as employees tell us that a day out of the office volunteering is great for team building and morale. Together with our colleagues at the Canal & River Trust we’re already planning a number of volunteer days for 2017 to keep the Lock looking its best.”