As a Society, we always enjoy our links with corporate volunteers, and this year has been no exception.
Throughout the year, in conjunction with the BCA, the Volunteer Team Leaders have organised, hosted and led a number of successful events for a variety of companies willing to help out on the canal for a few hours.
Read on to find out more and see how a mutually beneficial relationship is formed when corporations choose to volunteer with the Basingstoke Canal Society – does your business want to get involved?
But first, before we delve into the details, a big shout out goes to the following companies: BOC (on two separate occasions), Neos Networks, BMW, EA, Poly.com, HSBC, Merlin Entertainments, Ion Trading, Asahi and SC Johnson. Together, they have put in over 850 hours of voluntary effort.
‘A win:win relationship is formed when corporations choose to volunteer with The Basingstoke Canal Society’
What’s in it for the corporations?
Primarily, we offer a unique team building experience. As the teams will be working in an unfamiliar environment, the sessions begin with a safety briefing and tool talk by Basingstoke Canal Society’s Volunteer Team Leads. Following this, the teams are left to break up the tasks allotted to them. These could include activities such as preparing and painting lock gates and picnic tables.
Whatever the project, the volunteers involved will need to practise good communication in order to work effectively as a team. They will also be responsible for looking out for each other and other towpath users, as the canal is always well used!
And it’s great to be helping support this wonderful local amenity – OUR canal
For the employees it is a fantastic opportunity to have a really satisfying day working together with your colleagues – in other words great teamwork and at the same time doing something worthwhile for your community.
‘A unique team building experience’
During the experience, teams are also taught about the history of the canal, the reasons for it being a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and, most impressively, its ranking as one of the top 100 waterways in the world.
We only ever ask people to work within their physical limits, and where desired we can use one of the passenger boats as a water taxi to ferry the team back to the start point.
Lastly, to round off a successful few hours, it is either time for eating pizzas al fresco or back to a convenient cafe or pub for refreshments.
What are the benefits for us?
A lot can be done in a short space of time when we have a couple of qualified team leaders and an enthusiastic team doing the physical work. For example, with some corporate volunteers on the job, St. John’s flight of locks in Woking was completely repainted in half the time that is usually takes.
In addition to the hands-on help, as the Basingstoke Canal Society is a charity, we appreciate a donation from the companies which we use these funds to buy items such as electric hand tools to help manage the vegetation and to support our various projects
A big thank you to all those companies who have been supporting us this year – and we look forward to others helping us in the future. Please contact the Basingstoke Canal Authority on 01252 370073 to find out more