Canal and River Trust – The Waterways and Wellbeing

The Canal & River Trust is a charity set up in 2012 to care for England and Wales’ 200-year-old waterways, holding them in trust for the nation forever. It has responsibility for 2,000 miles of navigable canals and rivers, together with bridges, tunnels, aqueducts, docks and reservoirs, along with museums and archive collections. The Trust’s ambition is for the waterways to make a difference locally. In order to ensure that a robust measurement of local impact is captured and explained, the Trust developed the Outcomes Measurement Framework (OMF) in partnership with PLACE at the University of Cardiff. The OMF set the guiding principles and research methodology for gathering data, provides a series of indicators, maintains rigour, and enables an evaluation and measurement process.

Former ICC Knowledge Exchange Manager Sue Potts was commissioned by the Canal and River Trust to assist with the development of a suite of research instruments which would enable on-the-ground staff and volunteers to collect data.  In order to develop an evidence base of existing impact, a secondary analysis of a number of the Canal and River Trust’s flagship projects was also undertaken, including Creative Places and People project The Super Slow Way and the People’s Lottery funded Growing Hedgerows project.

Supported by the ICC’s academic researchers Stephen Crone and Dr Jenny Daniels, and also by Dr Gerwyn Jones, 30 research instruments were created which support the CRT’s ambitions for capturing impact in the following areas: Health, Wellbeing and Happiness; Engaged People and Cohesive Communities; Learning and Enhancing Skills and Cultural and Environmental Assets.

Photo credits
Cruising on the Royal” by Bart Busschots is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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