Inclusivity

Funding level: £5,001 to £10,000

Description

Dauntsey Lock Canal Centre: a new base for our innovative Transitions Project working in partnership to bring benefits to many vulnerable groups in our communities.
We need to raise funds to purchase equipment for our new community and training rooms at the Canal Centre: we need art and craft materials, IT equipment, gardening tools, carpentry tools, materials to make raised vegetable beds, tables and chairs, a kettle, tea cups… you name it, we need it!
The Wilts & Berks Canal Trust is a charitable organisation committed to restoring the full length of this historic canal; from Wiltshire through Swindon and into Oxfordshire. https://www.wbct.org.uk
As part of our project, we work with our communities and supporters within the Transitions Project, to identify and deliver benefits to vulnerable groups using the canal, its heritage, restoration and community as a resource to enjoy and learn from.
The emphasis is for participants to join in by learning skills suitable for each person, with targeted outcomes of improved social skills, the ability to lead a more independent life and to gain access to the world of work.
This work is based at our HQ, a grade II listed pub “The Peterborough Arms” on the canal at Dauntsey Lock near Chippenham. The pub is about to reopen, after restoration by our volunteers: we are relocating our innovative and successful Transitions Project to an area to the rear of the Peterborough Arms where we will have a dedicated space to continue our work with our current groups and be able to expand our delivery of community integration to many more people.
Some examples of our successes this year
In June and July 2017 WBCT took part in the Heritage Heroes, a project organised by Canal & River Trust where veterans from Help For Heroes helped our Trust volunteers in performing vital restoration work on the Wilts & Berks Canal at Pewsham near Chippenham. The veterans’ base for the project was our Transitions Project meeting rooms at Dauntsey Lock where they were able to work for their vocational qualifications and also have a quiet and tranquil base when they needed to take time out.
“The difference this has made with the lads and our problems is far more than the difference we made on site with you.”
In January 2017 we started work with Stratton Community Art Group, a newly formed group looking to help people who were socially isolated. They decided to work on a project to produce art work relating to the canal which could be used for the 2018 WBCT Calendar. What none of us expected was the superb work produced and the effect it had on the group members in terms of re-engaging them with their community and with our Trust. Participants have become WBCT members: they share our social media posts, increasing our reach and have become Trust volunteers helping in Swindon with many aspects of Trust work.
In Spring 2017 we also partnered with SWADS a Swindon organisation who work in the field of recovering dependencies. WBCT were asked to give a talk to the group about the social history of the working canal, its art and the role of canal art in the unique culture of canal folk. SWADS members were enthused by the thoughts of other disadvantaged groups over time and worked to produce a model of the canal together with canal art decoration which was displayed at the Peterborough Arms 2017 Spring Fair. The group organisers reported how key this project was in giving focus to their members and providing them with incentives and insight to continue with their own journeys to recovery.
We are forging relationships with dementia groups and mental health groups and we are in discussion with our local authorities and about continuing the work started with the Heritage Heroes project.
We need funding to provide the equipment and furnishings for the Dauntsey Lock Canal Centre. Please vote for our project so we can continue to bring benefit through our canal to the most vulnerable in our communities.

Wilts & Berks Canal Trust

The Transitions Project has made a real difference to the lives of some 160 people since January 2017. Participants have been able to use our canal and its resources to rebuild their lives after trauma, to take part in activities where they were able to meet people and improve their self confidence

Location: Dauntsey Lock