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Alec Shelbrooke MP views volunteer work at Woodlesford Lock

Last week Alec Shelbrooke, Member of Parliament for Elmet and Rothwell, visited Woodlesford Lock on the Aire and Calder Canal to view the results of the partnership between Yorkshire Water and the Canal & River Trust.

Woodlesford Lock is about five miles from Leeds and a popular destination for walkers who can enjoy the lovely countryside along the canal towpath.

We are committed to colleague volunteering and not just because it helps deliver community and environmental benefits. We believe volunteering and spending team building time away from normal duties is very beneficial for the wellbeing of our colleagues. We have volunteering partnerships with the Canal & River Trust, RSPB, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Sheffield Wildlife Trust and the Aire Rivers Trust.

We adopted a one mile stretch of canal at Woodlesford Lock for our colleague volunteering programme in 2013. Since then 192 colleagues have given time to improve and maintain the Lock including 50 last year. Fences and walls which had been underwater for some of the winter were given a new coat of paint. Minor towpath repairs were carried out, the volunteers cleared grass that had been encroaching on the path and removed some Himalayan balsam, an invasive species of plant.

Mr Shelbrooke met representatives from Yorkshire Water and the Canal & River Trust on Friday 10 February. He viewed the hard work put in by our volunteers and discussed the great work the Canal and River Trust do to help keep our waterways special and places where everyone can visit to relax.

Anne Reed who manages Yorkshire Water’s Volunteering Programme said: “We encourage our colleagues 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 colleagues 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.”

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