The Canal and River Trust (CRT), formerly the quango British Waterways, has seen volunteering rise almost a hundredfold since the start of the decade, but lost money on fundraising, its most recent accounts show.
According to the charity’s annual report and accounts published this week, the CRT saw a rise in income across the board in the year. Total income was £189.7m, compared to £183.2m the previous year. This was largely due to a rise in the charity’s block grant from government – up to £49.6m from £39m the previous year.
The charity also saw the value of its property portfolio rise by £39.6m.
The Canal and River Trust – formerly the quango British Waterways – span out of government in 2012. At the time volunteers contributed 20,000 hours a year, according to then-chief executive Richard Parry. At the start of the decade it was 5,000 hours.
‘Our willing and dedicated volunteers gave us nearly 482,000 hours of their time during 2015/16, up 17 per cent on the previous year,’ the charity said. ‘Of this, our young volunteers aged 16 to 25 spent over 36,000 hours of time to help clear up our waterways and enhance the visitor experience. This commitment is worth the equivalent of £7.6 million to the Trust. 88 per cent of our volunteers would also recommend volunteering at the Trust to others.’
Fundraising growing slowly
However the charity is still a long way from its goal – at the time of spin-out – of growing giving to £20m a year. Last year the charity spent £3.6m on raising funds but received only £2.5m in donations and legacies.
The previous year the charity spent £2.7m on raising funds but received £1.6m of income.
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