Thank you to everyone for attending the River Thames Boat Project 2020 AGM on Monday evening, 9th November. It was our first AGM on Zoom, which was a new experience. We missed being physically present in the same room and sharing catch ups face to face, but it did allow for some people to join the meeting who might normally not be able to attend.
With Jon Chapman, Chair of Trustees as host, the meeting provided a review of the financial year 2019-20, an update on the current “very different from normal” year and a look ahead to the future.
In 2019-20, we reached 3,322 beneficiaries, with 112 Accessing the Thames cruises and 69 education days. We celebrated 30 years of the charity, and our mission to make the Thames accessible remains as strong as ever. 2020 was set to be busy, with a calendar already full of bookings for therapeutic cruises and education days. However, the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown in March created a very different picture for the year.
The meeting covered the practicalities of re-electing two Trustees, Bob Darke and Stephen West, updates on improvements to the boats from Gunnar, and reports from Sophie on Education, Kate on Marketing and Fundraising and Pippa on client support and bookings and the latest view on the charity’s financial situation. Jon thanked Peter Oldham, Skipper and Operations Manager, who left the charity in June 2020, for his many years of hard work for River Thames Boat Project.
We all took the opportunity to remember Sir Peter Harrop, our Honorary President, who passed away at the age of 94 in September. His dedication to the charity was phenomenal and he is greatly missed.
Although we have moved into a second lockdown in November, the green shoots of recovery are in evidence, with some education activities in September and some cruises in October. We have adapted our services and have new COVID-19 Secure Operating Procedures. We look forward to bringing special time on the river to our beneficiaries as soon as it is possible again. We know that it will be restorative and provide much needed respite from the current challenging times.
Thank you to everyone who supports the charity. The work that we do would not be possible without such dedication and enthusiasm from so many.
To view the River Thames Boat Project Review of the Year 2019-20, click here
To view the General Report and Financial Statements for 2019-20, click here.