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Re-Union Canal Boats

Re-Union exists to create inspiring spaces where people can re-connect with each other and their communities. To that end Re-Union builds boats, crews and communities.

Jay Lamb and Sam Baumber founded Re-Union in 2003 whilst living afloat on the Union Canal. They recognised that cruising powered craft on the canal was becoming an exclusive pursuit. If this were to be addressed, one of two things needed to happen. Either a community worker needed to recognise the potential of the canal and get interested in boats, or the boating community needed to recognise this impending exclusivity and get interested in the local community. With experience of boating and community education, Sam and Jay were uniquely placed to build a canal boat that would make cruising on the canal available to all, regardless of circumstance.

Re-union established a base in Falkirk in 2013.

What do we do?

  • We use an underutilised natural resource for community benefit
  • Attract hard to reach members of the community and give them access to a resource normally unavailable to them
  • Use boats as a hook to attract people and build projects around them
  • Encourage social inclusion and support personal development
  • Work in partnership with 'land based' agencies to provide a cohesive approach

How do we do it?

  • Regular canal and towpath clean ups
  • Deliver projects that offer an alternative to the usual training venues utilising a natural resource to encourage health and wellbeing
  • Use the canal and towpath as a means to 'navigate' into communities
  • Giving ownership to communities and encouraging buy in to take care of 'their' community asset

Further reading

This project is part of Green & Blue Futures Helix Social Enterprise Zone, managed by the Helix Social Enterprise Zone Partnership.

Re-union Canal Boats website

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