All posts by katedodds

A visit to Westminster Abbey!

On Monday 27th September 2021, Linda Varney and Nigel Williams ventured into London for a special presentation. Representing all the River Thames Boat Project volunteers, they received The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service crystal and certificate.

The presentation was made by Sir Kenneth Olisa, Lord Lieutenant for Greater London. River Thames Boat Project was one of 16 organisations in London and one of two in the London Borough of Richmond to receive the award. It’s the equivalent of an MBE for volunteers.

Thank you Nigel and Linda for collecting the award and for all your years of volunteering!

In 2022, there will be the opportunity to attend a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace for a further celebration.

River Thames Boat Project’s cruises and education days on the river would not be possible without such an amazing group of volunteers.

Left to right: Gillian Norton, Representative Deputy Lieutenant for Richmond, Nigel Williams and Linda Varney

Thames Challenge success, September sunshine and Back to School!

The RTBP team completed their Thames Challenge on Saturday 11th September! 13.4 miles from Putney Bridge to Kingston Bridge along the Thames Path, enjoying time by the river. We had a group of 21 take part with mainly walkers but also a paddleboarder and a cyclist. We finished with a very welcome tea and cakes on the deck of Thames Venturer at the dock in Kingston. A great day and a great result, raising just over £2,000. Thank you everyone for the support!

RTBP Thames Challenge walkers at Richmond Bridge

We’ve been making the most of the September sunshine and enjoying the peace and calm of the river. Skies are bright, the pace slows right down and time on the river is very restorative. It’s the perfect opportunity to venture out in a safe and secure way, have a change of scene, recharge the vitamin D batteries and breathe in lots of fresh air!

Thames Discoverer at Molesey Lock
A Linking People Afloat cruise onboard Thames Discoverer

Schools are back and we’re delighted to welcome Latchmere School onboard Thames Venturer at Teddington Lock for our first School on the River days of the Autumn term. Thank you everyone from Latchmere for being our first school back onboard in September 2020 as well as September 2021! Everyone is enjoying the outdoor learning on the river on the boat, at the Lock and on the island overlooking the weir.

School on the River in action on Thames Venturer

Special time on the river creates happy memories, builds knowledge and bringing smiles to everyone’s faces. We’re looking forward to more days on the river!

Summer cruises and a River Thames Challenge!

To celebrate our return to the river and to raise much needed funds we are taking on a Thames Challenge this Saturday 11th September! We have walkers who will do 13.4 miles from Putney Bridge to Kingston Bridge on the Thames Path and other activities on the river. Please sponsor us by clicking on the link below or sending donations to the office!

RTBP Thames Challenge 2021

The RTBP team has been busy with cruises over the summer months! It has been wonderful to welcome our client groups back onboard. We have had a mix of weather, but rain or shine, time on our boats on the river is always special!

Our cruises bring people back together for a shared experience, rebuild confidence about getting out for an activity and are calming and restorative.

The sunshine has returned for the start of September, so please contact the office on 020 8940 3509 or info@thamesboatproject.org to book a cruise.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service news

We received lots of wonderful messages and coverage congratulating the River Thames Boat Project volunteers on the award! Thank you everyone, it has been great to have positive news to share.

From Sir David Suchet, RTBP Patron:

I could not be more delighted and thrilled to learn that the prestigious ‘Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service’ has been given to you all at the River Thames Boat Project.  It is so well deserved.
The work you do gives so much happiness to so very many people.  It also makes me so very proud to be your Patron.
So, many congratulations to you all with my very warmest wishes.

From the Mayor of Richmond, Cllr Geoff Acton:  

“I am delighted that two amazing voluntary groups from Richmond upon Thames have been recognised by the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. It is great to see both groups being recognised for their work with such a prestigious award. There are so many people who give up their time every day to help others and serve others in their community. This was seen particularity throughout the pandemic when we saw a surge in residents offering to help others in any way they could. Congratulations to the teams at Barnes Children’s Literature Festival and River Thames Boat Project for the award and their continued amazing work.” 

Although there is a delay to the easing of restrictions, we are back on the river and very busy with our education days as schools enjoy the chance to be outside. Our cruises restart this week with some reduced numbers and we will be back to our regular group sizes of 12 after the 19th July.

We’re looking forward to welcoming everyone back onboard!

RTBP volunteers receive The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service!

We are delighted to announce that we have been honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, which is the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK! It’s the MBE for volunteer groups!

The award was created in 2002 to celebrate The Queen’s Golden Jubilee. It aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities and is announced each year on 2nd June, the anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation.

RTBP is one of 241 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive this prestigious award this year.

Jon Chapman, Chair of Trustees says: “We are truly delighted that River Thames Boat Project’s work in the local community has been recognised with such a prestigious award. Special time on the river on our boats Thames Venturer and Thames Discoverer will be even more appreciated and valuable this year after all that has happened in the past year or so. Our volunteers are a fantastic and highly dedicated group who carry out numerous roles for us, including skippering the boats, crewing, environmental education, boat maintenance, helping in the office, client development, fundraising and helping at events. The work that we do would simply not be possible without these devoted, energetic and warm -hearted individuals.”

Congratulations to all our amazing volunteers who make every day onboard our boats special!

We’re looking forward to brighter skies and more days on the river.

Sunshine, teamwork on the river and our new recruit

Preparations have been moving forward for our return to the river in May and the sunshine has been wonderful!

Education Training days are underway this week and next and Crew Training for cruises will take place in May and June.  The diary is starting to get busy with bookings and we are looking forward to welcoming our groups back to the river.

We are delighted to announce that Hannah Bottomley will be joining the RTBP team as our new Education Coordinator on the 4th May.

Hannah has a degree in Zoology and a Post Grad qualification in the Conservation of Endangered Species.  She is a life-long advocate of the environment and its conservation. She has great experience for our role including having worked onboard a converted barge in Thailand, teaching primary school age children about water quality and sustainability!  She has also dedicated considerable time to bat conservation, has worked for the RSPB and Natural England and has volunteered for Cheshire Wildlife Trust.

RTBP skipper Gunnar and RTBP volunteers partnered with the Teddington RNLI team for some hands on training with Thames Discoverer on a perfect sunny April day. Great teamwork and learnings!

We’re looking forward to more sunshine and special time on the river!

RNLI practising towing Thames Discoverer
RNLI crew alongside Thames Discoverer

Happy Easter and Thanks!

Thank you to RTBP trustee Bob Darke and running partner Phil Tauwhare who completed their riverside half marathon in under 2 hours last Sunday. They ran past the boats, alongside the river, across 2 bridges and in and out of 2 of our Royal Parks. Thank you to everyone for supporting them with sponsorship – a fantastic £700 was raised and will go towards making more special days on the river possible.

Thank you to RTBP volunteers for joining Gunnar at the dock this week for a sunshine filled day of cleaning the boats and refuelling. Thames Discoverer and Thames Venturer are shipshape and ready for the restart of our cruises and education days after Easter.

We know that time on the river on our boats will be very much enjoyed and appreciated and we are looking forward to welcoming our groups back onboard soon. In the meantime, we wish everyone a restful and restorative Easter break!

From all of the team at River Thames Boat Project.