Friends of RTBP Spring Newsletter
Dear Friends of the River Thames Boat Project,
We hope you enjoyed the first of our new format newsletter. This issue has updates on the Charity, including some great news about funding, and information about forthcoming plans for the Charity and the Friends.
I am delighted to welcome Martha Tressler, a recently retired crew volunteer, to join the team. If you would like to help Martha, Alison, Anthea and myself in organising the Friends please let us know.
Trustee of the River Thames Boat Project
Venturer Renamed: Thames Venturer. At a ceremony in the February sunshine, the Mayor of Kingston and one of the Kingston Young Carers smashed a bottle of champagne across the bow of the Venturer. Plans to invite a host of celebrities and hold a big party were changed when the Young Carers groups from Kingston and Hounslow booked three days on board in one of the earliest ever starts to the season. What more fitting way than having one of our clients take the key role! Read the Skipper's Update to find out what else the Young Carers got up to.
New Chair and Vice Chair. With the retirement of Richard Robinson as Chair of the Board of Trustees, Louise Sibley has become Chair together with Keith Knox as Vice Chair. In the next edition of the newsletter we will be asking them to update the Friends on plans and their goals for the Charity.
Grant from City Bridge Trust
School on the River - City Bridge Success
As mentioned in the previous newsletter we received the welcome news in December that we had been awarded a grant of £86,000 over three years from the City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s Charity. The grant provides, among other things, the salary for a part-time Environmental Education Co-ordinator who will lead the development of new and existing learning programmes, liaise with client schools to ensure that we are meeting their needs, and find new clients.
This will help us continue as a competitive education provider in a growing sector by offering an up-to-date learning facility linked to the new National Curriculum Guidelines.
During the past year we have started to expand our education services, running two successful pilot programmes - a risk assessment training day for trainee teachers, and Environment Days with local Cubs and Beavers. The new Co-ordinator will also work to develop our client base for these services.
Our expanding education activities allow the wider involvement of young people and families in fulfilling the environmental objectives of the Charity, as well as extending the use of the Thames Venturer beyond the cruising season. And the award of a significant grant from such a prestigious funder raises our profile within the voluntary sector, increasing the likelihood of success with other funding bids.
The City Bridge grant gives a huge boost to our ambitious future plans and is good news all round for the Charity!
Jane Newman, Lead Trustee for Education; Miranda Jaggers, Executive Director.
After a great deal of work over the winter the Venturer's refit is almost complete; we just need some warmer weather for the remaining painting. And just in time - our cruising season has already begun! The Young Carers' half term holiday was packed with everything from scavenger hunts around Kingston and operating a crane at the Riverside development construction site to renaming the boat. Very fortunately we managed to get out on the river on their last day, and it snowed! Another first was two Working Outside the Classroom workshops for trainee teachers from St Mary's University College. We also attended a volunteer recruitment fair in Kingston and have conducted the first of this year’s crew training days with the Mates (always a tough crowd). For the time being we will be operating from the mooring alongside Canbury Gardens but work on the Dock is progressing fast and we hope to take up our new mooring in the spring. The Phil the Boat collection of old clothes and materials is running again this year and earns us valuable income. As usual, many thanks to all of our Friends who help fund the charity and Help a Capital Child for funding the Young Carers' days out.
Pete Oldham, Skipper of Thames Venturer.
We have some great events planned for the Friends over the summer. Notices for each event will be sent out but this list gives a flavour of what to expect.
- 2nd July. Friends recruitment open evening. This is an opportunity for Friends and friends of Friends to come and see the boat at her mooring. A number of Trustees will be around to discuss the work of the charity and future plans. We also hope to have the organisers from various client groups on board to talk about how the Charity makes a difference. It will also be a great opportunity to talk to the Friends group organisers about the sorts of things you would like to see the Friends doing in the future.
- 16th July. Founders' Cruise. Retired Chairman and Honorary President Sir Peter Harrop KCB will be hosting an evening cruise onboard the Venturer. Although open to all Friends we want to particularly encourage those who have been involved with the charity for a long time. This is a chance to see the Venturer in modern times and to reconnect with old Friends. As a special request the junior crew member for the evening will be one Miranda Jaggers. Anyone wishing to provide advice and guidance on rope work would be very welcome.
- 7 September. Great River Race lunch at Richmond. Details to be confirmed.
In the last newsletter we mentioned plans for increasing funding from the Friends. We are doing this is by recruiting new Friends, and we are also creating a new type of Friend. We have started a Corporate Friends program and are delighted to announce our first Corporate Friend, Al-Jazy Shipping of Jordan. The nature of the Charity and its Trustees gives us a special connection with the marine industry. We hope to attract more Corporate Friends in the next year and we are planning to hold a shipping industry evening cruise in the summer. Al-Jazy have been a great supporter of the charity in the past and we would like to say a big thank you to them for being our first Corporate Friend.
Any companies or organisations interested in becoming a corporate friend should contact Paul or Alison. email@example.com. firstname.lastname@example.org
Corporate Friend: Al-Jazy Shipping and Forwarding
: in the next issue we hope to announce other developments which will increase Friends income.
Are you a keen photographer?
Over the summer months, volunteer and professional photographer (and supplier of photographs to the newsletter), John Frye, will be hosting a number of evening cruises under the fund earning arm of the charity, Venturer Photography.
John has been hosting photography evening cruises for the last 3 years and has earned thousands of pounds for the charity, as well as providing a fabulous summer evening for expert photographers and complete novices alike. Check out the Venturer Photography
website for availability and prices. In addition to providing funding, Venturer Photography has also been a great introduction to the charity for a number of our new Friends. Evening cruise dates: 22nd May, 3rd June & 7th August.