Our Annual report and accounts show how we have campaigned to protect and restore the country’s 7,000 miles of canals and rivers.
Who we are
Supporting our work through a regular subscription
On local or national committees who work on our campaigns and supporting activities
Across the country who scrutinise planning applications; carry out local campaigns; improve canals and rivers in the area;and organise events and activities for members
IWA’s charitable activities in 2020 have centred around the regeneration of the country’s canals and rivers for all waterway users. In a year marked by a global pandemic, we have demonstrated resilience and agility, continuing much of our campaigning through online channels.
Cancelling our major events has meant lost opportunities for profile raising and associated new memberships and donations. There has been a loss of thousands of volunteer working hours that help maintain, improve and restore the inland waterways each year. Canal Camp working holidays normally attract around 400 volunteers.
The most significant impacts on our income have been around the decrease in availability of grant funding as many volunteering activities such as work parties and Canal Camps were cancelled. Many funders suspended grant giving or diverted funds into the health and wellbeing of those directly affected by Covid-19. Where IWA had existing grant-funding in place, the funders have been supportive and allowed activities to be postponed.
Despite the challenges, we have continued to achieve against our five-year plan and key areas of our work in 2020. Highlights include:
The launch of our Vision for Sustainable Boating. This is already informing our work to help the waterways meet the government’s target of net zero emissions by 2050.
The launch of part one of our Heritage Report to help define waterways heritage, so that we can better protect this aspect of what makes our waterways so special.
Delivery of training and new resources for the waterway restoration sector to include webinars and the first section of our updated Practical Restoration Handbook distributed to restoration groups. Helping to bring derelict waterways back to live brings economic, health and leisure benefits to the communities they serve.
£100,000 Waterways in Progress grant funding was awarded across four restoration projects that will start to deliver benefits from day one.
Launch of a new programme of online talks on waterways topics, to educate and inspire new and existing supporters to protect and restore them.
Development of our influencing strategy to raise awareness of our work among local and national bodies to ensure waterways are included in policy, planning and fundraising decision making.
The launch of a new website in October to engage the waterways community to support our campaigns and help grow the charity. This saw an increase in membership sign-ups up 47% in the first six months compared to the previous year. In addition there was £4,000 in one-off donations and more than 2,000 orders taken through our new online shop in the lead-up to Christmas.
Development of a new database, which will provide a better support experience and streamline our administrative operations when it launches in 2021.
LOVE YOUR WATERWAYS
Britain's waterways are vital; together we can campaign for them now and for the future.
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