All posts by katedodds

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.

River Thames Boat Project Spring updates and please support our two runners!

We’ve been enjoying some brighter, sunnier days and things are feeling more positive for the restart of our activities after Easter!

Schools are into their third week of being back, Care Home visits for one named person are now possible and as each week goes by, many more people are being vaccinated. There is still a way to go but we remain optimistic. We plan to be back on the river for our Education days after Easter from May onwards and for cruises, we plan to restart from June/July onwards.

Special time on the river will be possible once more and we know that it will be a welcome tonic after such difficult times!

In the meantime, the RTBP team has been busy getting everything shipshape: maintenance on the boats, updates to our admin systems, catching up with client groups, and some fundraising to contribute towards making more special time on the river possible.

This month we enjoyed our first RTBP online Quiz on Zoom. It was a great chance to see volunteers, friends, family and supporters, to test our brains – a little – and to have a laugh together! There were a few tricky river questions – of course – and some prizes and we were delighted to raise just over £1,000!

This was one of the river questions – can you name this bridge?

Next Sunday 28th March, when the clocks go forward, we have 2 runners taking on a half marathon to raise funds for RTBP. Bob Darke, one of our Trustees and running partner Phil Tauwhare have planned a route that starts and finishes in Bushy Park, takes them along the river, past our boats, across 2 bridges, and up the hill in Richmond Park! Please support them with your sponsorship:
Please go to the Virgin Money Giving page:

or make a donation by BACS payment:
Acct Name: River Thames Boat Project
Acct No: 00007014
Sort Code 40-52-40
Ref: NameRun eg PippaRun

or send a cheque made payable to “River Thames Boat Project”, to Trowlock Way, Teddington, TW11 9QY. 
Thank you!

Here’s Bob in training in Bushy Park!

Job vacancy – education coordinator

Education Coordinator, River Thames Boat Project
Are you passionate about outdoor learning, with a personal commitment to environmental sustainability? Do you have the ability to inspire and engage others to understand and respect their environment?
River Thames Boat Project is looking for a highly motivated Education Coordinator to lead their very successful environmental education programmes, based mainly on their converted Dutch barge Thames Venturer.
The charity has a 30 year history and is passionate about making the Thames accessible and delivering fun and dynamic education and learning activities.  
The position is 30 hours per week, term time only, working flexible hours, at riverside locations in Teddington, Kingston and occasionally Tower Bridge as well as from the office in Teddington. For full details of the job and person specification and the online application form, click here

Closing date for applications: Monday 15th March 2021

RTBP welcomes two new Trustees to the Board

We are very happy to welcome two new Trustees to the River Thames Boat Project Board.  Chris Deavin and Steven Wibberley are both river enthusiasts, live locally and between them bring excellent commercial, business planning, charity sector and health sector experience to RTBP.  Trustee meetings are still via Zoom at the moment but when it is possible, Chris and Steven are both keen to get out on the boats and meet volunteers, Friends and supporters. 

Chris has a background in the City and significant experience of leading the commercial growth of financial research and ratings businesses. He led sales teams at S&P Investment Services, Morningstar and TS Lombard and is currently a Director at Defaqto. For many years he was the Chair of the European Independent Research Providers Association (Euro IRP) and has an MBA from Imperial College.

Chris lives in East Twickenham and has lived close to the River Thames for most of his life. He has spent many hours on the river, boating and supporting his children’s sailing and rowing. He is passionate about the river, its history and in helping to make it more accessible to those who can learn and benefit from it most, but who do not have the opportunity. He has a Level 2 Boat License and is looking forward to getting his hands on some ropes and helping with some of the trips, meeting both volunteers and passengers. He is also looking forward to using his sales and commercial experience to help the charity raise funds for its wonderful work.

Steven spent the first twenty years of his working career as a general manger in the NHS.  Twelve years ago, he moved to the charity sector, initially working at Macmillan Cancer Support and then at the British Lung Foundation.  For the past three years he has been Chief Executive at Cruse Bereavement Support, the UK’s largest bereavement charity.  Steven moved to Ham in the late 1990s and tries to make the most of living by the river, walking his dog along the tow path, pottering around in his aging and unreliable cabin cruiser or occasionally paddling a kayak.  He is delighted to be appointed as Trustee and hopes to bring his experience from working in other charities to the River Thames Boat Project.

Welcome Chris and Steven!

Goodbye to sophie and final rtbp updates for 2020

Since the last RTBP news update on the 1st December, we are out of lockdown but mainly now, under Tier 3 restrictions.  There have been positive steps forward in the roll out of vaccines which is very good news.  This hopefully moves us to a more positive outlook for 2021 and the opportunity to get back on the river! Thank you for all the support and encouragement you have continued to bring to the Boat Project during this challenging year!

We say goodbye to Sophie this week and we wish her well for her next adventures.  She plans to head off to the Caribbean in January but has promised to come back and see us and help out on the boats when she can.  We will be starting the recruitment process to find a new Education Coordinator in the early New Year.

The Christmas Social on Zoom was lots of fun! It wasn’t the same as being together but it was wonderful to share the RTBP warmth and camaraderie.  Glasses were raised to the River Thames Boat Project, mulled wine was supped, carols were sung, we had a little quiz, we played “pin the nose and eyes on the snowman” and there was a good collection of Christmas jumpers, tinsel and Santa hats. 

Take part in the River Thames Boat Project Winter Art Competition! All the details are on the poster: It’s always good to keep thinking about the river and creative projects have helped many people during this difficult time.  The deadline for submissions is 1st February 2021 so there is time to put pen or paint to paper.  We’ll be posting pictures of the finished artwork on the RTBP website.

We’re looking forward to 2021 and restarting our cruises and education days. We have fundraising plans: a quiz via Zoom, some short cruises dependent on group size restrictions and a river based sponsored activity. We also have a couple of RTBP runners getting ready for the Hampton Court Half Marathon in February.  More updates to follow in January. 

The RTBP office will be closed from Friday 18th December for 2 weeks for the staff team Christmas break.  Kate, Pippa and Gunnar will be back at work from Monday 4th January 2021. 

Happy Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone!

RTBP’s first AGM on ZOOM

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.

River Thames Boat Project Autumn updates

Since the beginning of September we have been very happy to have a return of some activities to the river. The four days of School on the River in September with Latchmere School at Teddington Lock were fantastic. It was so great to see children enjoying learning together on the boat and by the lock. We also ran a late afternoon session for local youth group, Teddington Woodcraft Folk. We are happy to welcome school groups onboard through to November, so please get in touch.

Over the last few weeks, we also brought small groups of volunteers together for some refresher training for both education days and cruises and a clean up and spruce for the boats. Everyone enjoyed reconnecting and experiencing the RTBP camaraderie once more. Thank you to everyone that took part.

Last week we were delighted to have our first cruise . It was wonderful to see Thames Discoverer back on the river and to welcome our happy group of 6 passengers onboard. They had a lovely day, cruising upstream and back and said how wonderful it was to be on the river, enjoying the fresh air and having a much needed change of scene.

We had plans for some further cruises over the next few weeks but the announcement last Thursday 15th October about the move to Tier 2 restrictions means that for cruises, we now need to focus just on groups who are from the same household/support bubble. We can take a max of 8 passengers provided they are from the same support bubble.

There’s still the chance for special time on the river, so do get in touch on 020 8940 3509 or if you would like to book either an education day or a cruise.