For many people the long and hot summer has meant the chance to enjoy rivers and canals either boating or by simply enjoying a walk alongside them.

It is thanks to the hard work of volunteers and staff at The Canal & Rivers Trust that so many of us are able to enjoy the wonderful waterways in Bath and North East Somerset.

On Friday I met the trust’s new regional director Richard Thomas and caught up with him about the Bath WaterSpace project, which has got to the finals of the National Living Waterway Awards being held in Birmingham next month.

The WaterSpace project involves the council, the trust and the Environment Agency as well as an army of volunteers on 35 projects to help revitalise our waterways. These range from creating moorings and improving green spaces as well as enhancing biodiversity and creating safe access for sport and leisure.

And it is thanks to many volunteers as well as our partners that this project is possible – if you want to get involved you can find out more here canalrivertrust.org.uk/volunteer

Across our district we have many volunteers and unsung heroes and this week the Chair of Bath & North East Somerset Community Awards 2018/19 was officially launched by the Chair, Councillor Karen Walker.

These annual awards celebrate volunteers, community leaders, staff and businesses that make a positive contribution to the local community. Nominations are now open for inspirational people who put others first and contribute to the council’s vision to make Bath and North East Somerset an even better place to live, work and visit.

The awards are organised in partnership with B&NES Clinical Commissioning Group, CURO, Sirona Care and Health, B&NES Virgin Care and the Student Community Partnership and Bath College.

If you know someone who deserves recognition for the help they show others you can go to www.bathnes.gov.uk/CommunityAwards  and nominate them – it doesn’t take long to do and is a great way of showing appreciation.