A significant element of this event is for you rafters to have a fantastic day out doing something just a bit different. The challenge is to design and build your raft and then paddle it up and down the Thames & Severn canal over 1.2 km, starting from The Bell, Upper Lock, Stroud using whatever materials you can beg, borrow or otherwise source. Raft design is very important as it must be as light in weight as possible to allow you to carry it into and out of the canal.

Another and equally significant part is to raise funds for our nominated charities, the Cotswold Canals Trust, and The Door. We are asking that each crew gathers at least £100 sponsorship. Please click here to download the sponsorship and gift aid declaration form.

If your friends or colleagues prefer to sponsor you online, you can set up your own sponsorship web page via:

Please read the Stroud Raft and Duck Race online donation procedure document for more details.


About our charities


cctlogoThe Cotswold Canals Trust (CCT) was formed to realise the vision of reopening the Stroudwater Navigation and the Thames & Severn, which provides a link between the River Severn and the Thames River. It is due to the work of CCT, Stroud District Council (SDC) and Waterway Recovery Group (WRG) volunteers that we are able to enjoy a raft race now on Stroud’s canal! CCT is continuously raising funds to complete the restoration to benefit the community through towpaths and recreation, wildlife and biodiversity, commercial enterprises, boaters and Stroud’s visual landscape. Everyone is welcome to volunteer! (check the CCT website).


The Door logo
The Door is a Christian-based youth project, established in 1991 for the benefit of all young people aged 11 to 25 and their families. They are a needs-led organisation, working closely with their clients to offer the right support. The Door is open so every young person and their parents can feel safe, happy and valued, with the best possible opportunity to reach their potential.

The Door’s Youthwork team operate youth clubs from 7 centres across the District in Stroud, Cam, Dursley, North Nibley and Wotton-under-Edge. Alongside the youth clubs the team provide a range of other projects including community café, aDOORables (young parents group) and Girls Group as well as ‘detached’ on the streets work.

The Door also offer a suite of services designed to support young people, their parents and carers, or their whole family. Trained volunteer mentors provide 1:1 support to young people, giving them a positive role model and the intensive support that can turn their lives around. This service is also available to parents and carers who in addition can access the Triple P’ parenting programme, both of which enable parents to re-assess life and move forward, whether it’s through dealing with a family break-up, major crisis or just the day to day job of being a parent. Sometimes the whole family needs help to get back on track.Family Face Time offers a friendly facilitator to support families re-opening communication and moving forward.



Local Youth Charity wins prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2017

The Door Youth Project, which has been serving the young people of Stroud (Gloucestershire) for the last 26 years, has today received the highest accolade awarded to the voluntary sector. Equivalent to an MBE, the award recognises the outstanding work undertaken by volunteers in their community, and  was created in 2002 to celebrate the anniversary of The Queen’s coronation.

To celebrate the award members of The Door team attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace hosted by Her Majesty The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. The award will be presented to The Door by local Lord Lieutenant, Dame Janet Trotter later this year

The Door is open so that all young people, their parents, carers and families can feel safe, happy and valued with the best chance of reaching their potential. The project provides a wide range of support to young people between the ages of 11 and 25 and their families in the Stroud District. This support comes in the form of youth clubs, 1:1 mentoring, support groups, parenting courses and whole family intervention plus help with returning to education and finding employment.

The Door employs a professional team of trained youthworkers and family support staff working at 6 centres across the district. However the charity relies on the extraordinary work of over 50 volunteers who give up their free time to undergo training, and go on to offer regular support to their mentees or in the youth centres. Committed volunteers also take on the roles of trustee, assist in The Door charity shop, take part in street collections and hold fundraising events for the charity.

Chair of trustees, Sean Corbett says, “I am so proud and excited that our wonderful volunteers have been recognised with this award. Without these dedicated individuals The Door would not be able to change the lives of so many young people and families. I wish to commend the passion and dedication that each volunteer brings to The Door and lift up a heartfelt ‘thank you’ and congratulations to this extended Door family for achieving this prestigious award.”

Nominations for the award came from team members at Gloucestershire Young Carers and the Children and Young People Service (CYPS) who said:

Andrea Hannis, Gloucestershire Young Carers:  “The Door’s support has helped families overcome personal crisis or survive in the face of adversity, where no other help was available.” “The mentoring programme offered by The Door not only empowers young people in their lives, but provides them with an opportunity to have perhaps their first positive relationship with another adult. The support from volunteers at The Door has transformed many families’ lives”

Fidelma Dowling, CYPS:  “The work that The Door does for so many young people with difficulties is outstanding and fills a very significant gap in services for this very vulnerable population. The Door is highly valued and respected by the team I work in, and it is in fact often the first place that we think of when considering the best options for the young people from this area. The feedback we receive is so positive; we wonder how we would manage without this service. “

All services at The Door are provided free of charge to families. Referrals are received by The Door from health professionals, local authorities, schools and other concerned agencies such as Gloucestershire Young Carers and CYPS.

In order to maintain their services, The Door relies on generous donations from individuals, businesses, organisations and grant making trusts to meet their running costs of £1000 per day.

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