The Friends of Kennet was set up in 2009-10 by the Leeds & Liverpool Canal Society to create a group of volunteers who are interested in helping with the maintenance and operation of Kennet. These volunteers have become integral to the Society’s use of Kennet. As well as being key to the maintenance program they provide the ‘front of house’ staff when Kennet is open to the public and when schools and organisations make visits.
All have a common interest in keeping Kennet in good condition, open to the public and passing on information about the heritage of the Canal, its boats and boat families.
Over the years a lot of volunteers have joined who have had no experience of talking to school groups, of chatting to the public about the canal, or indeed of working on a boat. But they have thoroughly enjoyed their time on and around Kennet and have made new friends through joining in. The Society supports new volunteers and supplies information about Kennet and the Canal in order that the volunteer can feel ‘one step ahead’ of the public. And there is always somebody about who can help if a question can’t be answered.
The value of the Friends of Kennet was recognised in November 2019 by being awarded the National Historic Ships Marsh Volunteer Award for Engaging Communities in recognition of the Society’s use of Kennet to bring knowledge of the heritage of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal to communities situated within and near to the Canal corridor.
If you would like to know more about how we work or have a chat about helping then please don’t hesitate to contact us by email.