Canal adoption scheme creating green space in Birmingham

SCC and Canal and River Trust, the charity that looks after and brings to life 2,000 miles of UK waterways, are caring for green space in Birmingham under the Trust’s canal adoption scheme. SCC adopted a stretch of the Grand Union Canal in Sparkbrook, Birmingham, in 2019, with employees committing to regular voluntary clean-ups as part of its Adoption Agreement with the Trust. To date, SCC has donated 350 days of support. The most recent clean-up, on 23 February 2022, was attended by senior leaders from both organisations, including Richard Parry, CEO of Canal & River Trust, and James Rigby, SCC CEO. Seven SCC volunteers joined Tim Winnett, volunteer leader for the Trust in the West Midlands, to collect litter, remove moss and weeds from bridges and pathways, clean the area, and carry out minor repairs, creating green space along the stretch of canal that is safer and more enjoyable for people and wildlife. SCC is the Trust’s only supplier that has undertaken canal work in two locations, with the Nottingham canal adoption scheme a joint initiative between SCC and Nottingham City Council, as part of its regeneration plan for the city centre. James Rigby, SCC Chief Executive, said: “The Canal & River Trust is a wonderful organisation and does outstanding work for local communities – but it can’t do it alone. Just today and during SCC’s regular canal clean-ups, teams of up to 15 people spend long hours working hard on our adopted stretch of the Grand Union Canal in Birmingham. If you scale up across the full length of the canals, that’s a huge job which requires support from businesses and organisations, giving back to local people and the places in which they operate.We are delighted to be able to improve our communities in Birmingham and Nottingham, with the tireless work of our volunteers helping to create a safer and more pleasant environment for people to enjoy. And we’re proud to be the only partner with Adoption Agreements in two locations.” Before visiting the Grand Union Canal, Richard Parry and his team were welcomed by Sir Peter Rigby, Founder & Chairman or Rigby Group, SCC’s parent company, to discuss the importance of apprenticeship schemes and tour SCC’s newly refurbished headquarters, including the SCC Academy, a new facility which provides IT skills and learning opportunities for underprivileged and disadvantaged people from across Birmingham and the UK. Richard Parry, CEO of Canal & River Trust, said: “Volunteers like SCC play a valuable role supporting us in looking after and bringing to life our waterways – and I was delighted to see the team in action in Birmingham today. We have established a strong partnership with SCC – both as a supplier of IT services to and as a valued supporter of the Trust. Improving a stretch of canal or river is a great way for businesses like SCC to improve team building. It’s a way to put something back and benefits both your local community and the wildlife that lives along the waterways.I was pleased to see first-hand the great work SCC is doing in Birmingham through its community outreach, investments in its facilities, and the development of young talent through its apprenticeship scheme. This demonstrates the shared values between our organisations and strengthens our partnership. On behalf of the Trust, I want to thank SCC and its willing volunteers for their time and effort.

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