Boaters at Mercia Marina have created a group of lifesavers to be ‘first responders’ in the event of medical emergencies, working with East Midlands Ambulance Service ( EMAS). The volunteers are trained to tackle emergency situations including CPR and the use of on-site defibrillators. In the event that an ambulance is called out to the marina, EMAS will text the first responders, who are typically able to get to the scene first.
Bedford’s community boat, the John Bunyan, has now carried over 22,000 passengers since it started operation in July 2013. The boat, which was launched by the Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust to raise awareness and funds for the proposed new Great Ouse-Grand Union Canal link, is run by volunteers and provides river cruises along the Great Ouse in Bedford from April to the end of October.
The first ever book exchange on London’s canals is proving a huge success, as well as serving as a hotel for Limehouse’s insect population. Installed on Limehouse Basin by the Canal & River Trust, the bibliographical bug hotel includes shelves for people to borrow and read books, as well as specially-designed crevices providing habitats for inner-city bees, spiders, ladybirds and woodlice. Darren Starling, Canal & River Trust towpath ranger, said: “We’re really pleased with how popular the book exchange has been so far. It’s so nice that people are taking time out to share with each other.”