The Waterways Action Squad is a youth volunteering programme which was established as a partnership project between The Waterways Trust and British Waterways, to engage more young people in the care and maintenance of Britain’s waterways, and encourage those who may not otherwise experience our canals and waterways to get involved.

Based at the National Waterways Museum in Ellesmere Port and funded by Bank America and V., one of the first projects tackled by the Squad was the nearby canal bridge under the M53 motorway. Covered in graffiti, dirty and dark, it was in desperate need of a repaint, especially as the family boat trips from the Museum would pass under the bridge and staff would often have to go out early and scrub off obscene tags.

Now, thanks to Community RePaint Wirral, the tunnel has been transformed with a five-panel mural designed by the volunteers and inspired by the exhibits in the National Waterways Museum. Since the volunteers finished painting, the graffiti has gone and the tunnel is a much brighter and nicer place to be. What’s more the Council, so impressed by their work, offered to paint a coat of anti-graffiti paint over the mural.

Hazel Mayow, Volunteer Leader at The Waterways Trust: “We only had a very small budget and everyone was eager to get started. By sourcing paint from our local Community RePaint scheme, we were able to use a whole variety of colours and so not compromise on the design or have to wait months for funding,“ In addition, “Diverting second-hand paint from landfill was a great way for us to reinforce the environmental message of this project.”

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