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The Friends of Exeter Ship Canal: Volunteer Opportunities

The Friends of Exeter Ship Canal [“the Friends”] are looking for volunteers who would like to become actively [or more actively if doing so already] involved in our activities. The Friends recognise that all volunteers are different and may have different skill sets, levels of capacity and what they want to get out of volunteering. To make it possible for volunteers to become involved in activities that suit them and us we have divided our work up into three main areas.  Involvement in more than one area is encouraged should this suit you.

  • Volunteer operational projects [getting outside and doing] – restoring, maintaining and improving the physical aspects of the Canal.


  • Planning, liaison and research [mainly researching, thinking, writing and proposing] with authorities and other key stakeholders – more of an academic approach dedicated to monitoring Council plans, lobbying for improvements and helping drive forward the Friends vision for the canal.

  • Marketing and Development [A bit of both of the above, but leaning more towards the thinking and writing bit] – this involves seeking out local business support, marketing, helping with publications, writing newsletters and press releases.


The Friends recognise that the level of involvement you may want, and time commitment you may have available, can vary widely, but all contributions are highly valued. The three main areas are not set in concrete, we are all ways open to suggestions and willing to make changes to suite how you may wish to volunteer, as far as we can and remain within the Friends aims.

There is an awful lot of activity at the moment:

  • Following achievement of Heritage Harbour status in 2020, we are involved with actions aimed at attracting more visiting boats, boat trips and traditional restoration of heritage vessels.

  • Actively campaigning to save maritime use of Gabriel’s Wharf near the basin.

  • Actively monitoring and influencing development plans adjacent to the canal, and closely watching the Council’s proposed Harbour Revision Order to ensure it meets the needs of water users now and for future generations.

  • Revitalising outside work groups, restoration activities and litter picking.

With so much going on we have decided to support the Chair, John Monks, with a Vice Chair [could this be you?]If you are considering these or any of the other roles, please contact John Monks (01392 493559, for a chat about the opportunities on offer.

What difference will you make?

Our volunteers in all the different guises available are crucial for developing our strategic plans under the waterway’s important new designation as a Heritage Harbour: to find out more, follow the link: Your contribution and commitment will help ensure the organisation thrives and expands. Our radical revival programme for the canal, titled Making The Canal Matter Again can be seen here:  

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