Teachers at Salendine Nook High School seeking imaginative volunteering opportunities have encouraged students to ‘adopt’ a stretch of their local canal.
Now for the next six months Year 10 pupils on the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme will spend Fridays working on a three-lock section of the Huddersfield Broad Canal. Salendine Nook is the first school in the North of England to sign up.
The venture, a first for the school, was the brainchild of teacher Jon Smith who co-ordinates the Year 10 bronze Duke of Edinburgh project. He approached a number of organisations for volunteering opportunities and received a swift response from the Canal & River Trust.
“It soon became obvious that this type of activity would benefit the students and was just the thing we were looking for,” he said.
Having adopted the half mile of waterway between locks 5 and 7 the youngsters are now a month into their canal heritage preservation work which sees them clearing vegetation, repainting locks, improving footpaths, updating noticeboards and covering up graffiti.
“The students are beginning to get a real grasp of their work and this opportunity is opening their eyes to their own futures,” said Mr Smith.