In considering the charity’s activities, the trustees have due regard to the published guidance on public benefit.
In line with our charitable aims, we run a variety of programmes and cruises for schools and for socially excluded groups, and provide transferable skills’ training for our volunteers. People of all ages benefit from our services and activities, including those who are vulnerable, isolated and disadvantaged through having disabilities (including mental health conditions), older people, service personnel, carers, young people and school children. We also offer a highly rewarding environment for local people who want to volunteer with us, including those in retirement; all our volunteers, currently 64 in number, benefit from this active and stimulating form of volunteering.
In 2015-16, we provided:
- 84 Accessing the Thames days on the river for 927 client users and their carers
- 59 Education bookings with activities for 1,560 school children, young learners, and 58 student teachers, accompanied by teachers and helpers.
- 6 crew training days and 2 teacher training days for our volunteers
- 4 community open days and photography cruises for the general public (276 visitors)
- 4 on board events for the charity’s supporters
- 4 onshore events for the charity’s supporters and/or volunteers
In addition, the boat was hired out for 4 private events, all giving a total of 163 day and evening uses (number does not include onshore events) and an estimated 5,975 volunteer hours (including crewing, teaching, office, events and maintenance work).
We welcomed 18 new client groups on board during the year, including 9 new schools. Our client groups, who are listed here, came to us from 11 London Boroughs and 3 counties and District Councils outside Greater London.
As well as formal monitoring and evaluation, we received a large number of letters, cards and emails from our clients. These give life to the raw statistics and their words say more powerfully than we can, how the work we do benefits them. A selection of their comments can be found here.