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Boat volunteers needed to benefit canal restoration.

Canal boat trips are a key part of funding the restoration of the Wey & Arun Canal and more volunteer boat crews are needed to help meet the growing demand for cruises.

"The number of boat trips we ran grew by 33% in 2013 and we're struggling to find enough crews to run the cruises," says Wey & Arun Canal Trust's Boat Operations Manager, Rosie Sugar. "We need people to fill a variety of roles - you could even become a skipper and we can help you get a Boat Masters Licence to achieve this but we are especially in need of crew and you will receive full training (free)."

The Canal Trust operates three boats, including a 50-seater electric boat, for weekend boat trips and private charters between April and October from the Loxwood Canal Centre. Funds raised by the cruises directly fund restoration of the canal and this source of income will become critical as the Trust aims to accelerate the work over the next few years.

According to Rosie Sugar, the only requirement is for volunteers to be over 16 years old and be moderately fit in order to operate the locks and work the boats. "There are also cabin crew vacancies which involve serving refreshments and selling merchandise on the cruises and for these positions you just need enthusiasm and a friendly disposition," she explains.

To find out more about these volunteer roles and what the training involves, please contact Rosie Sugar by email on rosiesugar@hotmail.co.uk or by phone on 07900 320757.