Regional Charity Celebrates Champion Volunteers

Over 80 people, including Trustees, employees, volunteers and Friends of the Trust, attended our 17th annual Volunteers’ Celebration which took place on Saturday 4 November at Wheal Martyn.

Each year we celebrate the invaluable help of our fantastic volunteers. Last year over 4,800 volunteer days helped us to deliver our charitable objectives – that’s equivalent to more than a quarter of our entire workforce and an increase of 800 days of volunteering compared to the previous year!

The celebration began with a buffet lunch and a screening of our new campaigns film. This was then followed by five presentations which focused on the campaign themes and projects which could not have been achieved without the help of our wonderful volunteers. These included; conservation tasks, assisting at events, site maintenance and much more.

Campaign Themes:

David Robertson, Chairman of South West Lakes Trust, congratulated and thanked the volunteers, “As Chairman of South West Lakes Trust I share the current Trustees’ enthusiasm and gratitude for your achievements. We achieve so much more by working with you, our volunteers. Everyone here has made a significant contribution to our work, whether that’s at Wheal Martyn, helping out with environmental improvements, raising site standards or supporting our angling and activity teams to deliver all the great things they do.”

After the presentations everyone was invited to see Wheal Martyn’s recently restored 18 foot water wheel back in action. Longstanding volunteer Arthur Northey cut the ribbon and everyone watched in awe as the water cascaded down the wheel.

As a result of exposure to the weather over many years the 18 foot water wheel had deteriorated to such a state that by early 2016 it could no longer turn. All the wooden elements had completely rotted out and the steel had become severely rusted. With thanks to generous funding from the Association for Industrial Archaeology, The Cornwall Heritage Trust, Historic England, The Sylvia Waddilove Foundation and private donation the wheel has finally been restored to its former glory.

John Wood, Chairman of Wheal Martyn Trust said, “As Chairman of Wheal Martyn Trust I would just like to recognise the significant contribution that our volunteers make to our work. We are extremely lucky to be supported by so many people who generously give their time and expertise to so all aspects of our work. In 2016 over 60 people contributed a massive 1568 days to a whole range of tasks.”

He continued: “The experience of our visitors is enhanced by those of you who meet and greet, provide insightful guided tours or help in the café. A special thanks must go to Curator Jo’s wonderful team who meet every Wednesday to tackle long term documentation plans including time consuming inventory checks. Our maintenance team is also supported by a number of volunteers who brave all weather conditions to help keep our grounds so well maintained and we are also so lucky to have a team of volunteers from the China Clay History Society who work tirelessly every Wednesday and Friday to record and look after the extensive archive stored off site. As a small charity the work you do is making a huge difference, not only in preserving our heritage but importantly ensuing our communities now and in the future can be inspired and learn from it.”

The afternoon was then rounded off with a delicious cream tea and a raffle which had some fantastic prizes donated by a variety of local business including; Jo Downs Homemade Glass, Buttermilk Artisan Confectionery, Philip Warren & Son and the Lakeside Café and Function Suite at Roadford Lake.

For more information about volunteering opportunities for South West Lakes Trust please call 01566 771930 or email For more information about volunteering opportunities at Wheal Martyn please call 01726 850362 or email

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