Volunteering Roles

Updated 21 September 2021

There are many ways to volunteer with the Society

The key aim of the Society is to ‘Keep the Canal Alive and Vibrant’ so as to maintain and protect our canal for future generations, and we cannot do this without the support of our volunteers both ‘out on the canal’ and ‘behind the scenes’

We have a whole variety of volunteering opportunities in organising and leading the society, some of which involve specialist skills.  It’s very rewarding working in teams with other like minded volunteers and the roles are all flexible and can range from a few hours a week working from home to being involved in projects, committees and organising events, admin support, etc.

We ask volunteers to become members of the Society as it enables them to receive regular updates along with membership providing insurance cover for volunteer activities. Click here for more information about membership.

Below are just some of the roles where you could help. However there are lots of other opportunities where you could be involved.  If you would like to know more or you want to apply to become a volunteer then click on one of the buttons below and we will contact you.

Promotions/Marketing person to support new boat fundraising project:

Marketing person needed to support our project to raise £200k to fund a new Kitty trip boat at Woking. Working as part of a team which includes fundraising and project planning, we need to promote the initiative and engage relevant community, council and business partners.

An ideal volunteer role for someone with marketing / promotional skills with time commitment flexible but on average around 3 hours a week.

Accounts / bookkeeper

To support our Finance Director (also a volunteer!) there is an opportunity for a bookkeeper to help process accounting entries and help pull together the monthly accounts. This is not a heavy workload with a flexible commitment of 2 to 3 hours a week and supported by the Finance Director. It is a great opportunity for someone to develop their bookkeeping and basic accounting skills.

Download Role Description

Publicity and Marketing

We have several roles available as part of our work to raise the profile of the Canal this also supporting increasing membership, project fundraising and encouraging more boats on the canal. In all cases the roles are flexible and you will be working as part of a team.

Some of the areas where we need support include:

Assistant Press Officer: this role supports our Press Officer and Communications Coordinator to help build links with local press and other outlets. Needless to say, it would help if you have some marketing and organisational experience

Download Role Description

  • Co-editors of the Society’s quarterly newsletter and bi-monthly electronic Bulletin: on both of these you will be part of a team with the objective being to promote the canal and increase engagement of members and the wider community. (Note: The Bulletin uses Mailchimp – and clearly we can train people if you are new to this process)
  • Sales Volunteer of books and items on the website/events: currently we have around £5000 of annual sales of books and other items. We need someone to help continue to promote them along with posting them out

Helping our Trip Boats

We need someone to help promote our trip boats at Odiham and Woking. We already have someone active on profiling on Facebook but we need initiatives to reach new audiences. Needless to say some experience in marketing or sales would be helpful.

We also need a new roster manager to help organise the crew roster on our 50 passenger trip boat at Odiham. This role is normally shared and is thus flexible.

Events Team

We currently have a small team and would welcome additional help to both help plan and organise events. In addition to several major events the society attends various local shows and sets up stands at strategic locations along the Canal to attract new members to join us in our work.

If you have a background in events and / or are good at organising people and equipment to make things happen, then we would like to hear from you.

Membership Marketing Manager/leader

Following a 30% increase in membership over the last year, we want to maintain this momentum and are looking for someone with Marketing experience who wants to help lead this work with a commitment of say 3 to 4 hours work a week.

This is an exciting opportunity to work as part of a team to develop and follow through campaigns and initiatives to improve the ‘product offering’ (including offering discounts in conjunction with local businesses), along with promoting to new audiences. To support this we have research on members that we undertook earlier in the year.

Download Role Description

Additionally, to support Membership we are looking for:

  • Some additional administration support to help to chase and follow up members to collect membership fees, etc. This is flexible with a couple of hours work per week.
  • Additional technical help in managing the membership database and linking into to the website. Again flexible with around 3 hours time commitment a week.

Archive Volunteers

To support a modernisation of the extensive archives, we need volunteer support for the following:

  • to work with the Canal marketing and events team to identify events that should be recorded for the archive and attend where appropriate to photograph and record those attending and the reason.  Similarly to work with canal management to identify major works and other items such as emergencies that should be recorded for the archive and attend to photograph as appropriate.
  • to explore and establish the potential for an exhibition of the canal history. Such an exhibition could be held at a venue such as the Lightbox but should also be in a format where it can form a display at any location. The exhibition should be both physical and virtual.
  • To explore the potential and work towards establishing an education presentation that could be made available at the canal centre and offered to schools and visitor groups. 

Project Leader to help lead restoration of historical ‘Perseverance’ dredger

We are looking for someone to help lead the return and partial restoration of return the dredger Perseverance where the parts are currently stored elsewhere. This a major and exciting project where existing trustees will be involved but we need a core person to plan and help coordinate.

Key skills will include project management, along with the ability to both work as part of a team , and most important be practical and ‘get things done’.  Please contact us to find our more.

Fundraisers with experience in raising money from Legacies and links with local businesses

While we have a successful fundraising team in place there is an opportunity to increase our work in raising money from legacies and linking with local business to support the Canal. If you have an interest in helping in these areas please let us know.

Legacies: there is a clear message that people value the canal and we do periodically receive legacies. It is clear however that there is an opportunity for us to do more to raise the awareness of this form of gift. Accordingly if you have experience in this area of fundraising, and would like to help us, then please get in touch.

Download Role Description

  • Working with local businesses: Likewise there is a real opportunity to involve local businesses in supporting the Canal with a benefit to all concerned. This is ideal for anyone who has had previous experience of working with corporates and building relationships. If you have ideas and initiatives, and want to ‘make things happen’ then please contact us.

Canal Champions in local areas.

The Society needs to increase it’s profile and involvement with local communities and we need your help. We  already have local people covering various parts of the canal but we want more representation in particular in the Runnymede, Ash, Surrey Heath, Pirbright, Mytchett and Deepcut areas. We are keen also to get extra support for our work in Woking.

If you live in these areas please contact us as we are keen to find people to help coordinate activities going on locally in their area, e.g. links with local councils. local events and groups, social media, local press, etc. You would be working as part of a team and the time commitment is flexible but as a guideline it could be around 3 hours a week. If you are interested in finding out more please contact us.


There is the opportunity for new trustees to join the board to help lead the Canal Society. We already have a range of skills on the Board but we are always keen to build links with future potential trustees to open to help lead the Society,. Indeed we currently would appreciate further trustee support on Marketing and helping to raise our profile.

This is a very interesting and rewarding role where you would be critical in helping lead  the Society forward, and so doing, helping protect this wonderful amenity. Time commitment is flexible but as a guideline with a time around 4 hours a week. Quite simply if you want to find our more please contact us to have an informal discussion and where we can provide a broad role specification.