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Power workers make water safer for canoe club

A group of power workers volunteered their time to make the water safer by clearing away trees for a Trowse charity.

From News & press - 28 May 2021 12:00 AM

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The team of eight tree cutting and engineering staff from UK Power Networks, who distribute electricity across the East of England, gathered to help Norwich Canoe Club who are one of the five clubs based at Whitlingham Boathouses.

The volunteer day was organised by David Walker whose family has a close association with the canoe club. All three of his children are involved in either coaching or competing while his wife Sarah is vice-chair. The club offers flat water racing opportunities to all ages and abilities.

The work consisted of cutting back and felling hazel and hawthorn trees which block the instructors’ view of those in the water which has safety implications as well as making coaching difficult, with any logs removed and given away.

The wood chippings generated by the volunteer work will also be used again as surface material for the Whitlingham Country Park estate.

David said: “There is a section of the water where the trees are an issues for instructors as they block the view of those out on boats. When they are cut back or removed it is much safer as coaches can see everything that is happening and can react to an emergency if needed.

“Myself and my family have been involved with the club for a number of years now and we hugely enjoy being part of the sport. The Donate a Day is a way for us to give something back to the club and in my work role as a tree manager, it’s a great team building exercise for my staff.

“We use the work as a chance to have important conversations about safety in the daily work we do as tree cutters or engineers, but also to bond on a project which makes a real difference to the local community.

“We have done this several times together now and it’s fantastic that UK Power Networks gives us the time to do something like this.”

Tim Scott, a senior coach at Norwich Canoe Club said: “A massive thank you on behalf of the club to David and his enthusiastic and talented team. Their work has made a real difference to the day to day running of the club and we are hugely grateful for their generosity in completing this major piece of work - and all in such a short time!”

The company previously donated £250 to the club through a Team Sport award which was used to fund a new platoon designed to make the sport more accessible to disabled participants.

UK Power Networks gives its staff two days paid leave each year to volunteer or fundraise in their local community.