Directors’ Report 2015-16

Legal, Administrative and General Information about the Company

The River Thames Boat Project is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee that is registered with the Charity Commission.

The charitable objects of the company are: to provide facilities for recreation, including boating activities, in the interests of social welfare for people such as those with a disability and the young, and for the advancement of education, including environmental education relating to the River Thames, and to undertake any other charitable activity.

For more information about how we deliver our charitable objects and what we do, look here on our website.

Patron: David Suchet CBE

Honorary President: Sir Peter Harrop KCB

The President may attend meetings of the Board but is not a member of the Board.  Although no longer a director, Sir Peter Harrop continues to be actively involved by representing the charity at local events and giving invaluable guidance to the charity as a whole. We are particularly grateful that we continue to benefit from his great experience.

Board of Trustees  (who served during the 2015-16 year);

  • Paul Barry
  • David Bell
  • Paul Boyd
  • Jon Chapman (elected November 2015)
  • Luke Gannon
  • Keith Knox (Vice Chair)
  • Peter Low
  • Stephen Mowat (co-opted March 2016)
  • Jane Newman
  • Alison Oliver
  • Louise Sibley (Chair)
  • Richard Robinson
  • Byron Turner

The Trustees also served as directors of the company. None received any remuneration from the company except for out-of-pocket expenses.

Company Secretary: Wendy Moss

Staff:

  • Miranda Jaggers
  • Peter Oldham
  • Pippa Butterfield (part-time)
  • Gemma Hindi (part-time)
  • Sonja Freebody (part-time, joined June 2016)

Independent examiner of accounts: Jonathan D. Blythe FCA

Principal Activities 

Our purpose is to provide educational, therapeutic and recreational cruises and activities on the Thames, utilising our community boat, Thames Venturer, and a volunteer crew working with our professional skipper. We run day and residential cruises designed to provide a beneficial experience for people with physical or learning disabilities, and for older people. We also offer a range of educational programmes and activities, mainly (but not exclusively) for younger people.

For more information about: our cruises, click here our educational work, click here.

The Review of the Year, here, provides cruise and activity highlights.  To see statistical information, including how many cruises and programmes we ran during 2015-16, please see our Public Benefit statement.

Community presence

As part of building community links, and for fundraising purposes, we take our boat to  local river-based events and festivals each year, when members of the general public are encouraged to come on board, take a tour and learn about our work.

Training 

We devote a significant number of days a year to developing volunteers’ skills. Mates’ and crew training covers boat operations, health and safety, emergency drills, and disability awareness;  in addition, we run special teacher and activity leader training days for those working on our environmental education programmes and activities. We also offer training in risk assessment for external groups and are actively growing this activity.

Additional activities

Finally, we also use our boat, when not on core client or community activities, to help us earn additional income in a manner that also fulfils the spirit of our charitable purpose. Venturer Photography is a linked enterprise, run by volunteers, that makes use of the boat on summer evenings to provide cruises for all-comers and help earn extra funds for the charity. We also offer the boat for summer evening cruises with other experiential learning opportunities, for community hospitality events or meetings, and to the Friends of the River Thames Boat Project (an organisation run by volunteers to bring financial support to the charity) and to volunteers for their own gatherings and fund-earning events.

Details of events, training days and income-raising cruises held during 2015-16 are provided in our Public Benefit Statement.

Statement on risk

The directors conduct a periodic assessment of the risks to which the company is exposed. The likelihood and relative seriousness of the identified risks were reviewed in the course of the last year and several minor modifications made. It is the company’s policy to keep up-to-date its risk assessments, and to adopt measures to mitigate or minimise identified risks to the greatest extent practicable.

Equality

The directors pursue a policy of equal treatment towards people with physical or mental disabilities. People with disabilities are an important part of our clientele. Thames Venturer was converted to make it possible for wheelchair users to have access to all passenger facilities on board, including the toilets and shower facilities. We provide staff and volunteers with disability awareness training.

We apply a policy of equal treatment for all staff and volunteers, who need to be able to perform the duties required of them in a safe, timely and effective manner, recognising that our clients’ health, safety and welfare remains paramount.

Directors’ Report – Review of the Year

Public Benefit Statement

Financial Results

Clients

Donors and Benefactors

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