Thank you to everyone who has supported us in these difficult times! Raising funds has been so important over the last few years. We are currently still doing things a bit differently due to the most recent Omicron variant but we are looking forward to the chance to get together for more activities in 2022.
Highlights for 2021 events included some short cruises for Friends, volunteers and supporters which gave everyone the chance to enjoy time on the river again; our RTBP Quiz Night, held online, which raised £1,000; our Trustee Bob Darke and running partner Phil Tauwhare completing a half marathon alongside the river; three busy waterstations by our mooring in Kingston; Thames Discoverer and crew taking part in the annual River Blessing in July with St Mary with St Alban’s Church; a stall at Surbiton Farmers’ Market to spread the word about the work that we do.
September was a busy month with a number of events. Our biggest fundraiser of the year – RTBP’s Thames Challenge – a sponsored walk along the towpath from Putney Bridge to Kingston Bridge was a great day with over 20 walkers and a very welcome tea and cakes onboard Thames Venturer at the finish! We raised about £2,500 which was hugely appreciated. Thames Discoverer took part in Tidefest with short cruises from Chiswick, downstream and back. We also had the opportunity to attend a special presentation at Westminster Abbey on the 27th September to receive The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service certificate and crystal.
Moving into the Autumn, we were happy to be back onboard Thames Venturer in Teddington for “Bangers and Fireworks”, a popular event for Friends and volunteers. We managed to hold our AGM face to face in November, which was wonderful. Our Volunteer Christmas Supper took place early December at St Mary’s Church Hall in Twickenham, just before things became more restricted again! Our final activity for the year was joining up with Teddington and The Hamptons Rotary Club to help with a Santa Sleigh collection. We feel lucky to have been able to spend time together and enjoy the RTBP camaraderie as well as raising much needed funds!
We are looking forward to more activities in 2022!
We decided to move our Quiz Night on 28th January online, as although things are improving, it still feels too early to get together inside in a big group. We will be all hands on deck for waterstations in February and March – the Hampton Court Half Marathon on 20th February and the Royal Borough of Kingston Spring Race Day on 27th March.
We have plans for the Spring and Summer with some short cruises once the weather is warmer and some more waterstations, as well as our favourite events such as Bangers and Fireworks in the Autumn. Hopefully by Christmas 2022, things will be much more settled and we will be able to hold our Christmas carols and mulled wine get together onboard Thames Venturer once more!!
More details to follow soon….