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 and/or mental health problems, older people, service personnel, carers, young people and school children.
We offer a highly rewarding environment for local people who want to volunteer with us, including those in retirement; all our volunteers, currently 68 in number, benefit from this active and stimulating form of volunteering.
In 2013-14, we provided
- 86 Accessing the Thames days on the river for 1,005 client users and their carers
- 38 School on the River days on educational activities for 1,310 school children, young learners, and 25 student teachers, accompanied by teachers and helpers.
- 7 crew training days for our volunteers
- 8 community open days and photography cruises for the general public (1,195 visitors)
- 7 onboard events for the charity’s supporters
- 3 onshore events for the charity’s supporters and/or volunteers
making a total of 149 days and evening use and 4,741 volunteer hours (including maintenance work).
We welcomed 8 new client groups on board during the year, including 2 schools. Our client groups, who are listed here, came to us from 7 London Boroughs and 9 counties and District Councils outside Greater London.
As well as formal monitoring and evaluation, we gather comments from our clients in our visitor book after every cruise and also receive 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 words can be found here.