ENews 31

Hello, & welcome to ENews No.31.

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WESTERN BRANCH

A reminder that the next Western Branch meeting will take place at Fromebridge Mill, Whitminster on Monday 5th March at 7.30p.m.

All are welcome, why not come along for a chat and a pint and take the opportunity to catch up on all the latest news & gossip?

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LE CONNECT NOUVEAU EST ARRIVEE!

The Trust's Volunteer Management System & Activity Database is now up and running, full details at http://www.cct.teamconnect.org.uk. All of you who have either completed a Volunteer Register application form over the last few years or registered for Connect version1 will receive a letter by this weekend, Royal Mail permitting, explaining how to access and amend your personal details and activity preference record. Each letter contains a User Name & Password for this purpose.

Connect gives us the opportunity to consolidate existing and sometimes fragmented Volunteer records into one place. Additionally it will provide a centralised up-to-date summary of Trust activities where Volunteers are needed. In many cases these activities will include a Roster covering the duties to be undertaken at the event and this will be displayed on the website as well.

Volunteering is fun. The majority of people who join the Cotswold Canals Trust do so because they want to play their part, however large or small, in the restoration. But until now it has been difficult to find out what range of opportunities is available.

Connect is the vehicle for you to register your personal interests and preferences in a simple and easy to understand manner.

You are not committing yourself to anything by registering, what you are doing is letting us know that when something is going on in a particular field you would like to know about it with a view to lending a hand.

Be assured that ALL help is invaluable whether it is for a couple of hours now and then, one day a month or whatever and the decision as to how much time you can give is entirely yours.

The activities for which you can register are many and varied. For example you can be up to your knees in brambles and brash, talk to the Great British public at Roadshow events, accompany visitors on our trip boats or you can take part in the quarterly (and unique!) Trow stuffing exercise.

If you know that you will not be receiving a letter because you have never registered your interests before then why not have a bimble around the website now? Or feel free to email me if you are not sure if you will be receiving a letter, cct-webmaster@teamconnect.org.uk

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CARDS FOR SALES

The Trading Company is rocketing into the 21st century and will shortly be in a position to accept credit & debit cards! As it is open for business all 52 weekends of the year the Heritage Centre at Saul will be the obvious beneficiary of what should be a noticeable increase in sales activity.

The card reading machines are fully portable so we shall be able to take one to Roadshow events, use one at Lechlade and of course they may prove to be a boon for the Saul Festival. Don't worry, Heritage Centre volunteers will not be let loose on the terminals without appropriate training…

There are costs involved but if the number of times when we've been on duty that Julia & I have been asked "Do you take plastic?" is anything to go by then the dent these costs may make should be more than offset by increased sales volumes.
 
That's the theory anyway……

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STROUDWATER STROLLS

Last year's popular series of Sunday afternoon historical walks is to be repeated in 2007. They will be led by Joan Tucker (aided by a portable microphone), author of The Stroudwater Navigation, and assisted by friends and British Waterways staff who will talk about the canal restoration.

Walk dates are scheduled as follows:-

April 22nd Framilode to Saul Junction
May 6th Saul Junction to Pike Bridge
May 20th Pike Bridge to Upper Mills
June 3rd Upper Mills to Ebley Mill
June 17th Ebley Mill to Wallbridge

Each walk will start at 2pm and last for about two and a quarter hours. Sorry no children under 12.

All dogs on leads please. Cost £5 each walk with profits going towards the restoration.

Pre booking is essential; contact Joan Tucker at joan@tucker-stroud.co.uk or phone
01453 762815.

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WRGies

Pardon?

Waterway Recovery Group – known affectionately as the WRGies – provide valuable support to us and other Canal Restoration Societies throughout the land.

As a result of many opportunities opening up for volunteer work along the whole length of the Cotswold Canals, the Trust is keen to appoint one or more people to liaise with visiting volunteer groups such as WRG. If you have an organisational flair, if you like meeting lots of people from all walks of life and all sorts of places but with a shared desire to help us restore our canals, this could be just the job for you.

Contact Ken Burgin if you want to know more. ken.burgin@pikelock.com or 01453 827414

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COMMUNICATION – A TWO WAY EXERCISE

I would be really interested to receive your comments on the new "Connect" Volunteer database in due course.

Perhaps once you have had the opportunity to look around the website following receipt of your letter in a couple of day's time, maybe? Many of us are trying very hard to improve this area within the Trust and your help would be greatly appreciated.