Severn Trent team helping make Coventry cleaner

7th October 2016

A team from Severn Trent’s head office in Coventry put down their pens in favour of litter pickers and paint brushes as they cleaned up around half a mile of Coventry Canal.Rather than spend their team building day in the office, the group decided to get stuck into the clean-up after local Coventry City Councillor Rachel Lancaster reached out to Severn Trent for their help.

Strategy and Regulation team leader Hayley Burdett-Ward explains: “Between ourselves, Coventry City Council and the Canal & River Trust we made up a team of 28 and we really made a difference to this well used part of the canal. The bushes were overgrown, the bridges were covered in graffiti and the area was being used for fly-tipping, so there was plenty to get on with.”

Located just off Longford Road and running behind the Arena Shopping Park, the half mile stretch of canal the team cleaned is used as a walkway for visitors to the Ricoh Arena, which welcomes thousands of people each week for Wasps and Coventry City games, as well as for concerts and exhibitions.

“We quickly filled plenty of black bags, the bushes were cut back, making the path friendlier for users, and the bridge looks brand new with its fresh coating of paint,” said Hayley. “The whole team had a great day out together doing this clean up, it was definitely hard work but totally worth it when you see the changes. We’re really proud of our Severn Trent employee volunteering programme and encourage our people to give up their time and get involved in lots of different community projects.”

Councillor Rachel Lancaster, who also took part in the clean-up, adds: “I was really pleased to roll up my sleeves and work with the team from Severn Trent to clean up a stretch of canal. We are very lucky to have the canal and I, like many others, enjoy a walk next to the water. 

“It was really rewarding to see how much we could do in a relatively short amount of time. It was hard work but good fun and I hope local people can see the difference we made."