Category Archives: Uncategorized

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!

Win this beautiful table

Mike Orme, a former RTS member, has carved the river from source to sea in this beautiful table, made of Indian Sheesham wood, and illuminated its path in silver leaf.  Mike is kindly offering the table, entitled “The Silver River” to raise funds for River Thames Boat Project (RTBP). (Dimensions:140cm long, 46.5 cm wide, 45.5cm high).

RTBP are organising a raffle to win the table. Tickets cost £10 each.   

Participants must be over 16 and members of the River Thames Boat Project.

If you would like to enter the raffle, please email: 

  • your name,  
  • the number of tickets you would like to purchase and  
  • a contact telephone number and email address to 

    and send payment (number of tickets x £10) to: 
  • Account Name:              River Thames Boat Project 
  • Account Number:         00007014 
  • Sort Code:                         40-52-40 
    Or send a cheque made payable to “River Thames Boat Project” to RTBP, Trowlock Way, Teddington, TW11 9QY. 

    Once payment has been received, you will be informed of your ticket number(s).  
    The draw for the table will take place on: Friday 8thJanuary 2021 and the winner will be notified by telephone.  
    Mike will deliver the table within one hour’s drive of Windsor.  Further by negotiation.

Please contact us with any questions on 020 8940 3509 or 

For further information about Mike’s
work visit, or email mike@ Mike can replicate any
coastline, island, river, lake, marina or
harbour in any solid wood as a table, desk,
door or wall art piece. He is offering to
donate 10% of the profits from any order
placed by RTBP members

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.

River Thames boat project is back on the river!

We are delighted to be back on the river! We enjoyed 4 days of ‘School on the River’ with Latchmere School over the last 2 weeks onboard Thames Venturer at Teddington Lock. They were our first environmental education days on the boat since March. It was so good to see the children enjoying time on the river, the sunshine and the usual RTBP activities and warm welcome. We made some changes to be COVID-19 secure, bringing all the activities on deck and shoreside, staff and volunteers wear visors and follow social distancing requirements, hand sanitising takes place regularly. Thank you Latchmere School for being our first groups back onboard!

We’re looking forward to welcoming more schools onboard over the next few weeks and bringing environmental education to life on the river once more.

We are also starting to do some cruises from early October. We have reduced passenger numbers to 6, including carers, in order to comply with social distancing requirements. October and November are great months for enjoying some special time on the river.

Sir Peter Harrop

Dear Friends, volunteers and supporters,

It is with great sadness that I write to let you know that our Honorary President, Sir Peter Harrop passed away last week.  Peter was an amazing supporter of River Thames Boat Project.  He was involved with us from our very early days and was our longest serving volunteer.  He became Chair of Trustees in 2001, passing this role over to Richard Robinson in 2006.  Peter was always positive, supportive and generous with his time.  He was a phenomenal ambassador for the charity, making many strong connections over the years.  He was a fount of knowledge on Boat Project matters and many other things, and a great sounding board for new ideas and plans.  Last year, he gave wonderful speeches at our 30 years celebrations and made a point of coming down to the boat in Kingston to congratulate the RTBP walkers who took part in the sponsored walk. 

Peter was a hugely important part of the RTBP family and he will be greatly missed by us all.

Our thoughts are with Margaret and the rest of his family at this difficult time.

Best regards,


Jon Chapman, Chair of Trustees

A trio of Peters last summer……left to right, Peter Oldham, Peter Harrop, Peter Finch

River Blessing

Thames Discoverer took part in the annual River Blessing in TeddingtonRTBP has been very happy to take part in this special service on the river in Teddington for the last few years.  This year it was a little different as the service was a much smaller group and was filmed on Friday 12th July to be posted on the church website on Sunday 14th July. The Rev Joe Moffatt, who is also Lifeboat Chaplain for the RNLI, led the service and the procession down to the river.  Jane Newman was part of the procession – flying the flag for RTBP.  Also in the procession was Chris, our friendly Commodore from Tamesis Club.  Thames Discoverer was waiting on the water to join in the celebrations – Gunnar, Ian and Sophie were onboard along with 2 RNLI lifeboat crew.  We enjoyed the RTBP and RNLI collaboration! The sun came out and it was wonderful to see Thames Discoverer back in action on the river, joining in the celebrations.  Thank you to the Rev Joe and to Katherine from St Mary with St Alban Church for inviting us to be part of this special service on the river.  We look forward to more time on the river soon!

Here is the link to watch the ceremony: