Volunteer Info

Organisation & Volunteers


DW Membership

The Devizes to Westminster Organisation Ltd is a limited company but rather than having shareholders it has members. It does not distribute profits so any surplus from the running of the event is held in reserve to cover future contingencies such as race cancellation. Everyone over the age of 18 who does the race in a particular year is a member for that year and may vote at the AGM. Membership is also available to anyone on payment of a £10 annual subscription.


Race Organisation

DW Race is organised by a Management team working throughout the year. There are three elected Directors of DW, and core Team Leader posts are elected annually or appointed directly by the Directors. The Team holds monthly management meetings throughout the year. We endeavour to retain as many volunteers as possible from year to year, ensuring consistency as part of a team framework of key personnel to provide a race of consistent standards of safety and management. Feedback, suggestions and comments about the race are very important to us and we welcome contributions however small on any aspect of the race.


Race Management Team



Currently Elected Officers 

Tom Gareth James

Tom Armitstead

Chairman and Director
Westminster Controller

Gareth Scragg

Junior teams & Welfare

James Treadgold

Course co-ordinator


Robin Meads

Company Secretary





Team Leaders


Edd Davidson-Smith – Campsite Manager

Totti Kay – Charities Officer, Stage Race Umpire

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Edd Davidson-Smith

Campsite Team leader

Totti Kay

Charities Officer
Stages Race Umpire

Richard Lovell

Chief Umpire

Stuart Avatar Keith

Stuart West

Competition Secretary

Tracy Rees-Clark

Course Secretary

Keith Bennett

Devizes Controller

martin Avatar Tim

Martin Deaves

Finance team leader

Craig Hill

PR, Marketing and Media

Tim Ralph

Marshal Team Leader

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Wiki Daniels

Race Control

Earl Hewitt

Safety Officer

Bob Sutherland

Trophies Secretary

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Rachel Dennis

Volunteer Co-ordinator

Vacancy !




Volunteering for DW


DW is organised and run entirely by volunteers. Every year we have the challenge of staffing up for the race with the 300+ volunteers necessary to run a safe and successful DW.


There is a wide variety of jobs that volunteers carry out, both over race weekend and throughout the year. Some serve all year round on the organising team, meeting monthly to plan the race, maintain the infrastructure, and ensure DW has the permission and support of a wide variety of external stakeholders needed to run the race, such as Canal & River Trust, Environment Agency, Port of London Authority and Emergency Services, to name but a few.


Most volunteers give time over race weekend, the heroes who willingly give up their time down the course to help paddlers face the challenge of Easter Weekend - the Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race. Many people regularly give their time and we think they do a fantastic job.


We are always recruiting for new volunteers and here are some of the teams you could volunteer for:


  • Devizes: be part of the start of everyone’s race, with roles including kit check, marshals, time keeping and race set-up. Usually needed Maundy Thursday to Easter Saturday.
  • Umpires: Ensure rules are upheld for crews and support teams and essential to the safe running of the race along the course.
  • Marshals: Instruct and guide paddlers and support crews along the course, control movement of supporters at key points along the course, also essential for a safe race.
  • Checkpoints: monitor paddler welfare and ensure competitors are in good shape as they progress down the course. Particularly suited for experienced paddlers.
  • Camp Site Crew: Organise and run the Junior Race campsites at Newbury, Longridge and Teddington
  • Race Control: based at Dreadnought Reach, Reading, this team keeps the comms flowing all weekend, monitoring crew progress through a combination of GPS tracking devices and ongoing comms with key race personnel up and down the course
  • Safety Team: sets safety strategy for the race and provides safety cover for both Stages and Senior (overnight) race, a combination of paddler welfare and monitoring, reactive response and quick reaction deployment to respond to an Emergency situation
  • Tideway Safety Boats: To support safety of the race and rescue if necessary. Crews operate at various locations on the Tideway and around Westminster.
  • Westminster - many different jobs, we can use you for a few hours or three full days (and nights), including setting up the Finish Village in the grounds of St Thomas Hospital (showers, toilets, communications, first aid, catering etc.), as well as marshals, umpires and general race staff

We also need volunteers on the Organising Team throughout the year - prepared to assist race planning throughout the year in areas including as Marketing, PR, Finance, Safety, Communications, Welfare & Child Protection, Admin, and negotiating the necessary permissions to run the race.


Why Volunteer

Volunteering can be as much of a challenge as undertaking the race itself. But you will also have a great deal of fun and spend a very rewarding time helping others realise their goals and achieve a significant personal challenge.

Many of our volunteers come back every year. Volunteering is a way of giving something back to the race for those who have done it in the past and also a way of familiarising yourself with it if you are thinking of doing it in the future. And quite simply, the race cannot run without you!


How to Volunteer

To volunteer some time or enquire about what is involved, please email Rachel Dennis or get in touch through the DW Group on Facebook. Let Rachel know how you're prepared to help, along with your contact details, and you’ll be put in touch with the most appropriate team leader.