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Portland Basin teaches pupils about our waterways

Last Friday, the Tameside Canal Boat Trust and the Canal and River Trust teamed up to teach pupils with additional needs all about the waterways at Portland Basin.

The Canal and River Trust scheme and the Tameside Canal Boat Trust came down to Portland Basin as part of their Duke of Edinburgh scheme.

We spoke with Mark of the Tameside Canal Boat Trust to find out more about what the pupils would be learning: “we have had some pupils from Works4U in Stalybridge come down and they have decided that their work task towards their DofE awards would be learning about the inland waterways, as well as protecting the heritage and cleaning up the canals.”

Works4U is a specialist college that offers young people between the ages of 14 to 24 the opportunity to develop their academic, social and independent living skills. The school supports young people who find accessing a mainstream school or college environment too much.

The students have spent many Friday’s coming down to Portland Basin and was arranged by Mark from TCBT. Mark told us more about what today had in store for them: “we do litter picking on the towpath and in the canals, and we have Claire from the Canal and River Trust coming down to teach them about water safety and what the trusts do.”

The group were originally planning to go up the canal as well, but due to bad weather the boat trip was called off. Instead, the group were taught about the inland waterways and safety around them in other ways.

Sarah Taylor Potts of the Canal and River Trust was also present to teach the pupils more about our waterways and told us about her role on the day: “Mark has invited me to do some water safety and talk about the trust and what we do in the area. We are going to do some information sharing about ecology, about water safety and keeping the canals clean and tidy.”

One of the activities saw Sarah teaching the pupils how to throw a lifesaving device, giving the pupils crucial information about saving lives on our waterways.

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