All Aboard the Union Canal

All Aboard the Union Canal

People Know How and Polwarth Parish Church have been working together since the 2019, bringing their project All Aboard to life. Together, the Scottish charity and parish church will run a boat from the Polwarth Pontoon on the Union Canal, promoting learning and positive engagement with the community within this unique environment. 

This includes running People Know How’s projects supporting children, young people and families aboard the boat, as well as providing community events and opportunities to gain volunteering or work experience. In the summer of 2019, we ran a project pilot, delivering People Know How’s Positive Transitions Service projects supporting children, young people and families aboard the canal. 

We organised trips for schools across Edinburgh including Lorne Primary School, Hermitage Park Primary School, Leith Primary School, Boroughmuir High School and Castlebrae Community High School. 

We received an overwhelmingly positive response, with young people relishing the opportunity to learn, engage and explore in a new and exciting environment.  “I really liked being part of the group. People listened to me and I made friends.” – Pupil, Lorne Primary School. 

During the COVID-19 outbreak we have been engaging widely with the canal community to find the most suitable boat with which we can provide the best support. This included our campaign Stories Along the Union Canal in which we looked to the history and memories of this community. We compiled these into an interactive map on our website and shared them over June and July. 

This received wonderful engagement from both our following and the canal community.  As coronavirus restrictions begin to ease, we can’t wait to get back on the Union Canal! 

Using findings from both our pilot and community engagement campaigns we’re now working closely with a builder to custom-build our very own canal boat. 

We’re excited to be part of The Big Splash so we can get All Aboard up and running, improving wellbeing in the community as it recovers from COVID-19.  You can Donate now at or simply by clicking this big Just Giving Button.    

All donations made here go direct to People Know How and Polwarth Parish Church.