About WAC


The Water Adventure Centre (WAC) was established in 1977 and is based at Fairfield Locks beside the Ashton Canal in Droylsden. WAC evolved co-operatively from the desire to have an adventure playground on the water and since its conception has advanced into a fantastic provision for young people and those who have least, on and off the water. 

WAC is a registered charity with a youth and play work ethos delivering fun canoeing and water craft activities with local communities and groups from Greater Manchester. We deliver open-access youth and play clubs and family events as well as running three additional detached projects at Chorlton Water Park, Newton Heath  and various parks in Clayton. We use our activities on the water to promote all round health and well-being through the delivery of unique and memorable play and youth work experiences and activities. Our provisions enable (primarily) children and young people to develop confidence & self-esteem, team work, negotiation and communication skills as well as gaining a great sense of enjoyment and achievement.

We believe that success engenders success and have a positive ‘everyone succeeds’ approach to working with people and it works!

“Canoeing plus quality youth work delivered by experienced and excellent youth workers facilitates or equals significant change for young people.” 

For 43 years we’ve delivered work designed to accommodate and attract hard to reach young people, and those who have least in the community to canoeing i.e. people, with educational and behavioural difficulties, not in education, employment or training, from low socio-economic backgrounds and looked after young people.

We deliver kayaking and canoeing sessions to a diverse community of people such as; young people and adults with disabilities, LGBT+, women’s, ethnic minority, asylum seeker, refugee and young parents groups.

WAC is a British Canoeing (BC) Quality Mark Centre and sessions are led by BC qualified canoe and kayak coaches who are also highly experienced and professionally trained Youth and Play Workers. 

Mission, Values, Vision and Aims


WAC’s mission is to use our unique blend of canoeing, youth and play work to enable those, especially children and young people, who have least in our Greater Manchester communities to gain confidence, self-esteem and skills to improve their lives.


Respect and equality at the center of all our work. 

Accessibility and flexibility so we can meet diverse needs in the best possible ways.

Listening to those who use WAC to change and improve our delivery.


Maintain and develop our special blend of high quality canoeing, youth and play work for those who are most affected by disability, discrimination and disadvantage. 

Adapt to the constant economic and social changes using opportunities to gain funding and support to enable our work to be accessible and free or very low cost.


Enabling people to have better lives by increasing:

Delivering our work through a variety of ways:

Quality Assurance

Action Together Quality in Action Award