Baroness Campbell of Surbiton has been appointed Patron of the charity, the River Thames Boat Project. The charity owns and operates Thames Venturer, a community barge, offering educational, therapeutic and recreational cruises and activities for the young, for older people; and people of all ages with a disability or mental health condition.
Speaking on her appointment, Baroness Campbell said “I am thrilled to have been invited to become Patron of the River Thames Boat Project. All my life I have campaigned for disabled people to enjoy the same social activities as every other member of society. There are few boats, whether they be sailing boats, motorboats or canal boats, that are fully accessible to disabled people, even in 2016 when we have disability legislation supporting full inclusion. I am therefore particularly interested in supporting this Charity that allows disabled people to enjoy the wonders of the Thames River from afloat.
“I took a canal boat holiday in my early twenties. It was the very first accessible construction – lifts, accommodation and a seat both at the front and the back. It was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life. Fast forward to 2016 and I believe there are still only a handful of canal boats with these facilities. I have no doubt that the River Thames Boat Project helps fill a huge gap in the market. I am thrilled to endorse this Project.”
Commenting on the new appointment, the charity’s Chair, Louise Sibley said: “We are delighted and honoured that Baroness Campbell has agreed to become a Patron. Her networks and support will help to raise awareness of our accessibility to the waterways and our important work.”
The River Thames Boat Project makes the River Thames accessible to older people, people of any age with disabilities, ex-servicemen, care homes, day centres, people with mental health issues, eco-groups, youth groups, schools, community groups, Beavers and private group hire. David Suchet is also a Patron of the charity.
The charity is taking delivery of a second boat in May 2017 and then refurbishing the existing boat. It is searching for local companies and groups to support these future developments and its regular activities.
If you can support financially with fundraising, please get in touch with the Marketing and Fundraising Executive at Sonja@thamesboatproject.org