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How IWA is organised

IWA is a charity governed by a board of trustees.

There are national committees that report to the board of trustees: Finance Committee; Navigation Committee; Marketing Committee; Waterway Recovery Group; Remuneration Committee and Awards Panel.

The members of these committees are appointed by trustees, usually by approving recommendations from the committees themselves following advertisement for members.

Essex Waterways Ltd is a subsidiary company of IWA and manages the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation in Essex. It is run by a board of directors appointed by IWA’s trustees, but otherwise operates independently and is not a charity.

IWA is organised through a network of 8 regions and 33 local branches.


Inland Waterways Association

Local Branches

Find the nearest of our 33 local branches.

Young person with thumbs up

Waterway Recovery Group

Our volunteers support waterway restoration.

Essex Waterways

We manage the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation in Essex.

IWA Trustees

Sir Robert Atkins

Sir Robert Atkins has had a long and varied policial career, serving as MP for nearly 20 years and MEP for North West Region of England for 15 years.  He was knighted in the 1997 Dissolution Honours List in recognition of his service as a Member of Parliament, as Minister of State for Northern Ireland and as Minister of State for the Environment.

As well as being a keen boater and narrowboat owner, Sir Robert was President of the “Ribble Link” Canal Campaign.

Rick Barnes

Elected 2016, re-elected 2019

A chartered mechanical engineer and member of the Assocation for Project Management, Rick has over 24 years’ experience in engineering, change, project, programme and business management.

Having enjoyed many boating holidays, Rick volunteered with Waterway Recovery Group. He has worked on many restorations and in a variety of different roles with IWA over the past 20 years.

John Butler


John is a semi-retired chartered accountant and has worked in many sectors throughout his career including retail.

He has volunteered with IWA for several years and has previously been a Trustee, as well as Chairing Events and Marketing Committees. He has been involved in organising festivals since 2013, and he is on the organising team for IWA’s Festival of Water 2021, due to be held in Worcester.

John is a keen waterway photographer and enjoys walking and cycling the waterways as well as getting afloat on his narrowboat when he has time.

Dave Chapman

Elected 2019

Having worked with Xerox Corporation for 30 years, Dave’s time there included 15 years reviewing operating company performance and driving change in Europe, East Asia and Africa and 5 years facilitating relationships between European, US and Japanese organisations.

Dave has been a member of IWA for 46 years and is a long-time boater. He has been heavily involved in IWA national festivals and chairman of Chiltern Branch since 2013.

Nick Dybeck

Appointed 2020

Nick is a retired chartered civil engineer where he was responsible for managing a number of major construction projects. He has experience as a company director and charity trustee. Most recently Nick has worked with several companies reviewing governance and risk management.

Nick’s interest in the waterways started with canoeing the River Nene. He has owned a narrowboat since 2001, living aboard when working away from home and more recently using it as a weekend retreat.

Sue O’Hare

Appointed 2020

Sue’s professional expertise is in new technology and innovation, gained through a career of working with a variety of companies, from corporates to public sector and start-up companies. Her voluntary roles include chairing a professional association and serving on the board of a science and technology outreach organisation.

Sue is a long-time boater. She started by hiring, had a share in a boat for 13 years, and recently became a boat owner. Sue has served on IWA’s Navigation Committee for the past four years, writing content articles and administering IWA’s policy reviews.

Paul Rodgers


Elected 2017 & Appointed 2020

Paul is chairman & founder of European payments community, Vendorcom; mentor at financial technology accelerator, Level 39; a member of the UK’s Payments Systems Regulator Panel and provided the secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Group on payment systems in the last session of the UK Parliament.

Having enjoyed boating holidays, Paul volunteered with Waterway Recovery Group and joined Marketing Committee in 2016.

Nicki Schiessel Harvey

Elected 2018

Nicki is a senior lecturer in built environment at Birmingham City University. She has a particular research interest in how waterway projects are assessed and valued and brings a wide range of experience in environmental and heritage planning.

Having spent many narrowboat holidays with her family, Nicki has lived aboard ever since.

Nicki has been a volunteer planner for Birmingham and Black Country branch and is on the CRT Heritage Advisory Group.

Roger Stocker

Elected 2018

Having spent a large part of his work life in IT, Roger had a complete change of career 15 years ago to become the cycling officer for a London local authority.

Roger has been an active member of the boating community for 20 years and joined IWA in 2002, where he has been a part of local groups and IWA Canalway Cavalcade.

Helen Whitehouse

A retired GP and occupational health physician, Helen has been a member of IWA for nearly 40 years. Helen is a founder member of Lichfield Branch and has served on numerous IWA committees, regionally and nationally, including being the director of Inland Waterways Enterprises Ltd.

Helen’s face is familiar to many because she has worked as a recruiter and sales person on IWA national stands around the country for over 20 years.

Alison Woodhams

Appointed 2020

Alison is a retired chartered accountant. Her career in finance and business includes 20 years working in senior positions at the BBC and University College London. Alison has extensive chair and trustee experience across the charity and not for profit sector, with expertise in risk and change management. She was a member and Vice Chair of the Inland Waterways Advisory Council.

Alison was introduced to the waterways 30 years ago as part of a group that walked the Birmingham Canal Navigations. This led to hire boat holidays cruising the Norfolk Broads, followed by the purchase of a share in a narrowboat.

Charity documents

Annual Report & Accounts



Articles of Association