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Marylebone School Rising Futures Students Volunteer with the Canals and Rivers Trust

On Tuesday the 12th November, Marylebone Boys School went on a very different journey to what they expected during their Play Your Part day on the Yes Futures Rising Future Programme. Typically, students during their programme have one day dedicated to volunteering within the local community. This is designed to take the students out of their ordinary classroom setting, and throw them in the deep end with some inspiring activities. The Marylebone Boys certainly got more than they anticipated - thanks to the Canals and River Trust!

The Canals and River Trust were the partner for this Play Your Part activity. They had a full day organised for the students, right around the corner from the school. Very handy! We met Emillie - the leader from the Canals and River Trust just a few minutes away from school in their floating meeting room on their barge. She then took us down to their base where we received the safety briefing and protective clothing for our tasks.

The mornings activities were focused around cleaning up this area of the canal. It being right around the corner from the school, most of the students knew the area and walked through it every day! This provided the perfect opportunity to generate interest in the area. The boys were asked to sweep fallen leaves from the towpaths near Little Venice to prevent leaf mulch and slipping underfoot for barge residents and pedestrians. Another group were tasked with litter picking, keeping the grass verges clear of rubbish and tidying the Trusts small storage area. The boys demonstrated fantastic teamwork throughout while having to be aware of walkers, dogs, joggers, cyclists and barge residents.

In the afternoon, we ate lunch on the barge before dividing into two groups. The boys then had the opportunity to ride and steer the Work Barge in small groups under the supervision of Barge Operator John. They were given then a tour of the Canal and John pointed out wildlife and conservation initiatives that the Trust currently support. As you can imagine the boys were very excited about the boat tours any they finished off the day on a high for everyone.

At the end of the day we spent some time reflecting on the Talents students had used that day, what they’d learnt and the skills they had developed. It was really interesting to hear the students’ thoughts on the day. They reflected particularly well on the day and recognised the importance of communication and teamwork, as well as the important role that they can play in their community.

We'd like to say a big thanks to partners of Yes Futures - the Canals and River Trust for organising a day full of adventure. The students were definitely taken outside their comfort zone and explored some key talent areas such as confidence and communication whilst volunteering with you.


To find out more about how your students could get involved with the Yes Futures Programmes, please contact Sophie, Impact Manager:, 07908 687779 or visit our website.

If you're interested in becoming a Play Your Part partner, please contact Helena, Head of Programmes:

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