Staff, volunteers and partners talk about life working with and for The Waterways Trust
Development Manager, Kim Chester:
Today is Monday and what better way to start the week than with
a colleague's birthday marked by cake; I'm meant to be swimming
tonight but I can feel my will power ebbing away with each bit of
icing - does fruit cancel out cake I wonder?
I've spent most of today working my way through my email box.
We're involved in such a diverse range of projects that it
can be complicated trying to stay on top of all of them at once.
For example the advert for the Volunteer Co-ordinator on the
Heartlands Canal has
now gone live but the project manager isn't in post until April 4th
so I'm fielding all the calls in her absence.
It's such an exciting project and new ground for us. The
canal in this area is very typical of an industrial heartland -
surrounded by factories which cut the community off from the
waterway. Over time as freight on the canal dwindled so many
of the factories closed, some have new uses but very few include
the canal so they have all turned their backs on the canal.
It makes walking along the canal a very closed off isolated
experience that isn't at all welcoming. In addition the local
residential community are primarily first and second generation
refugees and immigrants; they have no connection with the
industrial heritage of the canal.
This project sets out to work with the local businesses, the
factory owners and the employees, to help them understand what the
canal can do for them. The impact of a wildlife rich canal
that is clean and attractive cannot be undervalued as it attracts
visitors and greater use but we need their help if we are to
achieve this vision. In addition we're working through
community events and with schools to try to challenge the local
perception that the canal is a dark and dangerous place to be.
Check out the job
details if you're interested in applying.
Today's thoughts from Kim:
What a beautiful start to the day! I had a little lie in
as I was home late last night and then I got to run through the
woods near my home before hoping on the train and coming into work.
Spring is bursting through and the sap is most definitely
Now its back to the office and it's a welcome change that sees
me based out of the office for a whole day; a meeting in London was
cancelled so I have the whole day to work on a tender for a
potential project. It sounds really interesting but it's a
very complex project on a tight deadline so we need to make sure
that we can deliver what we promise and at the right price both for
us and for the client.
A day at the office also means I can catch up with my post and
also have a proper lunch rather than a sarnie grabbed on the go.
I'm meeting up with my sister today and we'll be trying out
one of the new restaurants around Gloucester Docks. It's a beautiful place
to be and the new designer shopping arcade is a real boon to
shopping and getting those forgotten gifts!
Yesterday I was in Manchester at an Access to Nature evaluation
training day. It was a great opportunity to take a good hard
look at our Birmingham project and really identify what it was that
we were doing and how we were going to measure that. It's
very tempting when dealing with a blank sheet of paper to design
complex and sophisticated evaluation tools but often the simplest
methods are the best. We spent a lot of time looking at the
beneficiaries and it was amazing to realize the true impact of the
project and just how many people we had the potential to reach.
So if you go down to the Heartlands Ring in Birmingham in the
next month or so be prepared to be stopped and asked or counted or
involved in some way shape or form!
Find out more about how we working with our partners to
transofrm Birmingham Heartlands
Canal Ring into a resource for the whole community.