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The Phoenix Canoe Club and Outdoor Centre currently operate from an old wooden building in Woodfield Park playing grounds next to the Welsh Harp reservoir in North London. Phoenix Canoe Club was formed in 2004 and moved in with a sailing club, following the closure of the council run Welsh Harp Youth Sailing Base (WHYSB), located further along the reservoir. We started working with local schools, colleges, youth and community groups in 2011, providing the activities that they had been without since the closure of the WHYSB. This has grown year on year from a humble 1,576 participants per 2 hour session, to 9,378 in 2019. The Centre has moved from volunteer led coaching to three full time staff and a growing number of sessional staff. The Sailing Club closed down in 2012 and we took over the building lease from the council.

The current building was never designed to accommodate this sort of throughput and we devote a lot of time to maintenace of the building fabric. It’s not all doom and gloom – we have modern watersports equipment and a wealth of great coaches and instructors. Our Centre is set in a little rural oasis in the middle of the great metropolis close to Wembley National Stadium, offering a warm welcome to the many young people that take part in our activities. The reservoir and surrounding shoreline is a Site of Special Scientific Interest boasting a wealth of wildlife and is also zoned for water sports and recreation.

We work with young people from age 9 upwards and adults offering kayaking, canoeing, Bell boating, stand-up paddle boarding, sailing, windsurfing, raft building, power boat training, orienteering and team building. The Outdoor Centre is an RYA Recognised Training Centre, RYA Sailability Centre, operates the RYA OnBoard youth sailing scheme and is a British Canoeing Quality Mark Centre. The Centre is also licenced by the Adventurous Activities Licencing Authority.

The Club is affiliated to British Canoeing and has the Sport England “Clubmark” – a cross-sport accreditation scheme for community sports clubs. The Club is a member of “London Youth” – supporting and challenging young people to become the best they can be! The Club operates a progressive programme of training including regular river trips in the UK and abroad. In 2018 we had 35 members travel to India for a two week kayaking and rafting expedition to the Ganges and Kali River, including some community projects and sightseeing.


A new, purpose-built club house will provide our users and the local community with a modern sporting hub with vastly improved facilities. We have worked with Barratt Metropolitain, the developer of the local housing regeneration scheme, and their design team to redesign the grounds and headquarters, for which we achieved Planning Permission approval in late 2017. The new HQ will provide the following accommodation:

Ground Floor

First Floor




The design objectives of the new centre building, when operating at full capacity, will be able to achieve in excess of 15,000 session visits per annum. This will provide the following outcomes:

The project is going to cost in the region of £2.5m including all of the enabling works, operational costs, additional equipment, fittings and furniture. Through a recent crowdfunding campaign on Spacehive and a grant from London Marathon Charitable Trust we have raised enough money to create a seed fund to allow us to move the project to the major fundraising stage where we can approach grant funders, high net worth individuals and charitable trusts. Our next few tasks are to:

We have also been getting our ‘ducks in a row’!

Your help in donating to our cause will provide the foundations for our project, opening up our work to enable more people to be active in the local community. To make a donation, please contact Phil Atkinson at phil@phoenixcanoeclub.co.uk

Phoenix Canoe Club Limited is a registered charity, no. 1148787 and a company limited by guarantee, registration no. 8002910.  Phoenix Canoe Club and Phoenix Outdoor Centre are trading names of Phoenix Canoe Club Limited.

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Phoenix Canoe Club Limited is a registered charity, no. 1148787 and a company limited by guarantee, registration no. 8002910.  Phoenix Canoe Club and Phoenix Outdoor Centre are trading names of Phoenix Canoe Club Limited.

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