A little bit about us

About Swinton Lock

Swinton Lock is a community based charity developed in 2004 to meet the education and social needs of the communities in Rotherham, Doncaster, Barnsley and Dearne Valley, focusing on those who through disability, social and economic disadvantage face barriers to accessing these opportunities elsewhere.

We are based adjacent to the South Yorkshire Navigational Canal and own two narrow boats one of which is fully accessible. Both boats are used to offer boat-handling courses, volunteering opportunities and pleasure trips to both children and adults.

The primary focus of our centre is a re-engagement programme to children and young people aged 6 – 16 who are struggling to achieve or have been excluded from mainstream education for a variety of reasons. A wide ranging and diverse programme of activities have been devised offering alternative education programmes. At present the centre is working with 84 children and has an attendance rate of 97%, of those 84 children 31 have a disability.

In April 2013 staff at the centre developed our now well-established young volunteers group. Through sheer hard work and dedication, the group has offered 23 children and young people the opportunity to access comprehensive safety, customer care, water safety and man overboard procedures. These 23 young people have offered pleasure boat trips during school holidays, weekends and evenings.

Alongside the activities for young people, the centre offers numerous courses for adults of all abilities. With three onsite studios with resident artists, the gallery and exhibition space is certainly worth checking out. The classes are primarily art based but very diverse with everything from arts and crafts to encaustic art, flower arranging and fine art, programmes and other activities shared via our facebook page.

Other activities and events


Our location, facilities and ample parking also make Swinton Lock an ideal location for meetings, conferences and parties.


We can also offer a wide choice of children’s parties, with any of the Art and Crafts activities available to create a party to remember.

Boat Trips

Join our experienced crew for a relaxing cruise along the canal.
Learn how to skipper the boat and manage locks.

Open Days

We also hold regular open days where you can come to meet the staff and sample many of the activities we have to offer.


Meet our dedicated team members, we have experienced passionate people working for the community.

  • Bev Reid
    Bev Reid Boat Manager
  • Stuart G Ellis
    Stuart G Ellis Trustee and Treasurer
  • Nicola Rush
    Nicola Rush Manager of young people’s provisions
  • Debbie
    Debbie Resident Artist


As a community charity we are funded by, and work with a number of organisations including Children in Need & the National Lottery.

Registered Charity No. 1103160
Company Limited by Guarantee

Contact Us

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