Tag Archives: Volunteer

Canal News – Five steps to living a calmer, healthier and happier life.

Canal News

Five steps to living a calmer, healthier and happier life.

New Charity Logo

As Dolly Parton told the crowds at Glastonbury, working 9 till 5 can ‘drive you crazy if you let it’. So don’t let it! Follow our five steps to living a calmer, healthier and happier life.

Family walking
1. Get in touch with nature

It’s an obvious one, and easily achieved. Go and feed the ducks in the park, pick fruit growing wild along the towpath or buy some pretty flowers and spruce up your front garden. Watch them grow and take pleasure in them year after year. If you really are stuck in the office from dusk till dawn, remember that nature doesn’t disappear after dark. An evening stroll is a great remedy for the stresses of the day. Look up at the stars and listen for the hoot of an owl. If you’re lucky you may even spot a bat.

2. Find your inner child

Nothing makes you forget your over-flowing inbox quicker than the feeling of sand between your toes. Skim some pebbles and watch them bounce over the waves. No beach nearby? No problem. Take off your shoes and socks and walk barefoot on the grass. It’s a great alternative. Buy a shrimping net and go pond-dipping. You never know what you might find. On a windy day, flying a kite will give you a great sense of achievement. Or for the ultimate kick of childlike freedom, find a big hill and run down it. Fling your arms out wide and feel invincible.

3. Learn something new

When we learn a new skill or accomplish something for the first time, we feel proud. When we feel proud, we feel less stressed. Most things are easy when you know how, and the internet is stuffed full of hints and tips for doing just about anything. Make a soufflé, mend that leaking tap or knit your friend a scarf. Or take an evening class and learn a new language. Need more of a challenge? Take up kayaking, or mountain biking or African drumming.


4. Give something back

Helping others is a sure fire way to regain a sense of perspective about our own toils and troubles. All manner of charitable organisations are crying out for volunteers up and down the country. From providing companionship for the elderly to helping out at sports camps, there’s something for everyone. It’s always better to give than to receive. And if you’re not a people person, there’s a high demand for volunteers to help out with animals, with woodlands, with canals, with just about everything.
Check out our own volunteering pages for a wide variety of opportunities.

5. Get away from it all

Sometimes we just need to get away, whether that’s a week in the Bahamas or a day trip somewhere more local. A change is as good as a rest, as they say. We’ve put together some free guides to the best days out on the canal and river network.
Find a place to visit near you.


Check out our own volunteering pages for a wide variety of opportunities.




Lichfield & Cannock Chase News

 Lichfield & Cannock Chase News

Lichfield News

Beacon Park

CPCG Beacon Park stream improvements

Published on Monday, 27th January 2014

A group of volunteers is set to kick off 2014 with two days of conservation work at Beacon Park this February.

Lichfield District Council’s Countryside & Parks Conservation Group (or CPCG for short) volunteer to help maintain local parks and green spaces across the district.

This year, an extra day of conservation work has been added to the monthly programme, so the volunteers will be rolling up their sleeves twice a month to help cut back scrub, build insect hotels, create paths and more.

The first two events of 2014 are on Wednesday 5 and Wednesday 19 February from 10.30am to 3pm.

Both events will take place at Beacon Park, where volunteers will don their wellies to make improvements to the stream.

Councillor Andrew Smith, Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure & Parks, said: “The Countryside & Parks Conservation Group does a fantastic job in helping us to look after and improve the district’s parks and green spaces. These two events will help to maintain Leomansley Brook, which runs through Beacon Park. It will involve clearing back scrub and vegetation and digging silt out to make the stream flow better.”

Anyone over 18 years of age can volunteer. All tools are provided as well as light snacks. Wearing outdoor waterproof clothes and sturdy footwear or wellies is recommended.

Councillor Ian Pritchard, Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Growth & Development, added: “The extra day a month will mean that even more conservation work can be tackled and I hope plenty of people volunteer to get involved in this important work. I know the group is always keen to welcome new members, so do come along if you are interested in taking part.”

To book your free place, please call Denice Deverall at Lichfield District Council on 01543 308183 or emaildenice.deverall@lichfielddc.gov.uk


Cannock Chase News

Volunteering Day – Holly ClearingShoal Hill Common

Shoal Hill Common

Nature reserve in the corner of Shoal Hill. Shoal Hill is an isolated fragment of Cannock Chase separated from the main body by the old Littleton Colliery site. It is nonetheless heavily used by walkers and horse riders and offers a taste of the open areas of the Chase, typically heather and silver birch woodland.  © Copyright John M and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 Date: 7th Feb 2014

Location: Shoal Hill Common

Time: 10:00 – 15:30

Cost: Free of Charge

Volunteering day – Holly clearing on Shoal Hill Common

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) holly clearing volunteering day on Shoal Hill Common

Voluteer leader is Bob Collett

Most leaders will be on site until 3:30pm or until the task is complete. Volunteers are welcome to stay until the end but any time you provide is gratefully appreciated. Please ensure that you wear appropriate clothing and footwear and bring a packed lunch if you intend to stay after lunch.

For more information contact Emma Beaman, Assistant AONB Officer on 01785 619186 or email emma.beaman@staffordshire.gov.uk


 Lichfield News

Olympic torchbearer cuts ribbon on improvementsFriary opening

Published on Tuesday, 28th January 2014

A day of celebration took place at Friary Grange Leisure Centre on Sunday 26 ,

January 2014 to officially launch the £500,000 makeover.

Former Friary School pupil and Olympic Relay torchbearer, Tom Bolton, cut the ribbon to formally open Friary Grange Leisure Centre’s improvements.

Tom was joined by project partner representatives, including Lichfield District Council, The Friary School, Staffordshire County Council, Sport England and Aiming High.

To celebrate the improvements, Lichfield District Council invited everyone to a day of celebrations, offering an extended free swimming session, fun swimming activities, and Evolve Fitness membership deals.

The day was a chance to showcase the completed makeover that includes the new frontage and reception, refurbished swimming pool changing rooms, improved access to the leisure centre and pool, and a viewing gallery to the pool from an extended refreshment area.

Councillor David Leytham, Chairman of Lichfield District Council, said: “The day was a great success with more than 400 people coming to see the improvements and to enjoy all the activities on offer. The works have made such a difference to Friary Grange Leisure Centre, from the new entrance to the changing rooms. I am also really pleased the project has made it easier for people with disabilities to access the pool and the rest of the building.”

Tom Bolton said: “It’s a fantastic makeover, and I hope it encourages more people to swim, especially people with disabilities. It was great to be asked to cut the ribbon and to be back at my old school.”

The Friary Grange Leisure Centre Makeover Project was funded by Sport England, Aiming High, Staffordshire County Council, Lichfield District Council and section 106 contributions.

For more information about the project, visit www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/friarymakover