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Local firm helps out with restoration effort

A team from pharmaceutical firm Sanofi swapped their desks for a day in the countryside this month to help out at Southland Lock near Loxwood.

Some 38 employees from Sanofi’s Guildford office carried out maintenance jobs around the lock as part of the firm’s commitment to volunteering with local charities.

It was the second year running the team had visited the canal to lend their support. Team leader Tania Whittern said: “Everyone really enjoyed last year’s event and were keen to return. Volunteering like this is good for team building as we are working with colleagues we may not usually chat with, and it’s so good for our wellbeing to be outside and doing something physical.”

Teams had to do battle with the heavy clay soil to dig out the canal bank in preparation for a new staircase down to the waterway, install a gate with fence posts to the side of the lock, and sand and paint the balance boards, paddle mechanism and handrails of the lock itself. The volunteers also helped clear overgrown areas of the towpath.

Despite the hard work in the warm sunshine, the volunteers said the day was worthwhile and how much they appreciated the beauty of the area.

Wey & Arun Canal Trust chairman Sally Schupke said the team’s effort was much appreciated and another step towards ensuring the waterway continues to be a valuable amenity for all to enjoy. She added: “Working with local companies allows us to not only show the value of our restoration work to those who use the canal for walking, cycling, boating and more, but what can be done when people come together in a common aim.”



Gill Davies
Thursday, June 13, 2019
  • Southlands Lock got some TLC from the visiting volunteers.
  • The team helped erect a new gate and fence posts, along with clearing overgrown vegetation.
  • Preparation work for a new stairway down to the canal was among the tasks.