News and information for our Members, Moorers and Friends


Volunteer Scheme
(for moorers)

Coombeswood Canal Trust is a registered charity which imposes certain obligations on the Trust. These obligations have been satisfied in various ways and these are being added to by the introduction of a Volunteer Scheme (the Scheme) to involve our moorers in work which will be directly for the Trust, and / or for the Dudley No. 2 canal from Windmill End towards its end at Selly Oak.

The Scheme revolves around allocating and registering voluntary work which is rewarded (up to a limit) by a pro rata reduction in a Supplentary Moorinng Charge.

Full details are available here:

The Scheme explained

How the Scheme works

Notes for the AGM 25/11/17

As you will be aware the Volunteer Scheme was introduced in August 2015 prompted by the need to achieve three particular objectives:

(1) To widen the group of volunteers and volunteering across a much wider group than had previously existed. Effectively to lighten the load for the relatively small group of volunteers who give many hours to the Trust, week in, week out.

(2) By achieving the above to encourage greater participation in the Trust’s activities by our moorers and in so doing help to reduce the running costs of the Trust in carrying out the various jobs and tasks we need to undertake across the year.

(3) In widening the pool of Volunteers and increasing the involvement of our moorers that a greater sense of ‘ownership’ is created.

Now into its third year It is my view that the Scheme has now become a part of ‘how we do things around here’ in that for all new moorers it is taken on and accepted as a part of having a mooring at Hawne Basin. As was the case in the first year of the Scheme the majority of moorers last year were able to either complete the full 20 hours (63%); between 10 and 19 hours (11%); between 0 and 9 hours (5%) with those having not completed any hours (21%) required to pay the full Supplementary Charge.

Where a Supplementary Charge was due most were paid on time, although a few reminder letters needed to be sent! In one case however the mooring rights for one moorer were withdrawn following persistent failure to pay both mooring fees and the Supplementary Charge.

As said on previous occasions the Scheme has never been about raising money; saving money YES; and indeed we would have been delighted if the Supplementary Charge was never made. However, of the Charge that was collected, almost £3,200 in total, a significant sum from this has been set aside for a Defibrillator to be installed with the balance for ‘infrastructure’ costs around the Basin. Unlike last year where these monies enabled the toilet block to be refurbished we hope that the Defibrillator never has to be used ‘in anger’ but if required it could save a life.

Looking back over the last twelve months or so we hope that there have been jobs and tasks to fit all levels of interest, skill and time available and for those less physically active there were admin or office jobs to be done. Remember all jobs have the same value; an hour given for one task is the same as an hour given for another, irrespective of its complexity and ‘degree of difficulty’. This is a principle we believe is vitally important and hopefully encourages you all to ‘give what you can’. It is equally valued.

We are now in our third year of the Scheme and already almost 25% of all moorers have completed the full twenty hours required of them to lead to a nil charge at the end of the year. Volunteer opportunities are there. Just keep a good look out for them!

To Sum up:

Although we are only in our third year and, perhaps a little subjective, BUT, the sense of togetherness and ownership within the Trust has increased. Participants in the Scheme appear (largely!) to have enjoyed the social aspect of working alongside other moorers and in some cases discovered skills they never thought they had. The Scheme has helped enable, amongst others the full cover of the Shop when our caretakers are on leave; the regular monthly bar managers rota and helped us to keep on top of the regular maintenance tasks around the Basin. Many thanks to all!

Finally, I would like to thank personally those who help to administer the Scheme, the Volunteer Scheme Review Group and in particular the Scheme Co-ordinators who help identify the jobs to be done and match the volunteer to the job. Many thanks in particular must go to Sheila Campbell, overall Scheme Co-ordinator for what is a sterling job. We couldn’t do without her!!

Jon Jones, Vice chair

Report on the second year's activity

Here we are, approaching the end of our second year of the scheme. And what a good year it has been.
A tremendous amount of good work has been done around the Basin, both throughout the year and during the maintenance weekend. The amount of painting, gardening and general work that has gone on has been wonderful. Thank you to all who have participated.
The site looked fabulous for the open weekend, but it wasn't only the looks that had changed! The level of camaraderie and working togetherness was commented on, not only by our own members, but by stall holders and general public.
I signed in 76 volunteers and over 800 hrs were logged over the weekend itself - not including all the peripheral hours that were put in on the organising etc.
The aim of the Volunteer Hours Scheme was always to encourage moorers to become part of the community and take ownership of the Basin. I think we have travelled a fair way down that road. Well done everyone.
The next year of the scheme commences 1st July with the same requirement of 20 hours or £200. Please make sure you have logged your hours on your boat sheets for this year, as only hours logged qualify.

Sheila Campbell
Volunteer Coordinator

Naturally any member of the Trust who is not a moorer and who wishes to be involved in any of our projects will be welcomed with open arms.


Coombeswood Canal Trust, a Company limited by Guarantee
Hawne Basin, Hereward Rise, Halesowen, West Midlands, B62 8AW.
Telephone: 0121 550 1355   
Skype Name: coombeswood
Registered Charity No. 1088978