Rivertime Boat Trust has today announced a new partnership with the River & Rowing Museum which will offer new and unique educational opportunities for disabled and disadvantaged young people.
The collaboration between the Henley-based organisations further solidifies their joint commitment to working with children from Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) settings and developing educational Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) programmes.
Founded in 2006, Rivertime Boat Trust provides opportunities for disabled and disadvantaged children and adults to enjoy the stretch of the River Thames from Windsor to Oxford. Each year around 200 groups from charities and organisations enjoy trips on the purpose-designed 42-foot passenger boat and benefit from the therapeutic effects of being on the water.
The River & Rowing Museum, which celebrates the River Thames, the international sport of rowing and the town of Henley-on-Thames, is one of the leading independent museums in the UK. The Museum offers a broad calendar of activities and experiences throughout the year. It hosts an array of children’s workshops and family events, many of which are targeted at young people from SEND groups and schools.
In 2013, Rivertime Boat Trust and the River & Rowing Museum teamed up to create the ‘Museum on Thames’ initiative that supplements the service provided by the Museum for SEND children. It also extends Rivertime Boat Trust’s offer of a river cruise for the disadvantaged and disabled.
Since the project was launched, our floating museum on the Thames has given over 500 children aged 6 to 19 a unique educational experience that combines an interactive museum workshop with a boat trip, to enhance learning about the river and its wildlife.
Rivertime Boat Trust and the River & Rowing Musuem have been partnered for over 14 years, and moving forward, the two charities will work together further with SEND schools to provide a variety of new targeted programmes for disadvantaged and disabled young people in the local area and beyond.
Louise Wymer, Interim CEO of the River & Rowing Museum, said: “This is an exciting and unique relationship where each side brings distinctive resources, skills, experience and networks to the partnership. We also recognise that each partner is an independent charity in its own right, and from these strong foundations we’re keen to explore future opportunities where we can work together to the benefit of disabled and disadvantaged children and young people.”
Chris Barrett, Managing Trustee of Rivertime Boat Trust, added: “To date we’ve been able to offer ten groups a year a joint visit, including a trip on the Rivertime boat and a workshop in the Museum. We aim to grow this collaboration and, by securing further external funding, double the number of these joint visits. We also want to include a boat trip on Rivertime as part of a longer Museum visit at other times during the year, and incorporate time on the river within broader cultural projects.”
Notes to Editors:
River & Rowing Museum, Mill Meadows, Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire RG9 1BF
Rivertime Boat Trust, Richmond House, Newlands Drive, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6
For further information please contact:
Captions: Pics of joint-branded ‘Rivertime’ and The River & Rowing Museum
Pictured: Chris Barrett – Chair of Trustees, RBT; Louise Wymer – Interim Director, RRM; Cathy Putz – Director, RRM; Lucy Herbert – Skipper, RBT
About the River & Rowing Museum
The Museum is a charity, and opened in 1998 to celebrate the River, the international sport of Rowing and the town of Henley on Thames.
From 2004 the enormously popular Wind in the Willows exhibition was added. In 2016, following a successful crowdfunding campaign in partnership with the Art Fund, the John Piper gallery was opened, celebrating the life and work of this internationally renowned local artist. Running a lively programme of temporary and visiting exhibitions, the Museum works with partners such as the National Portrait Gallery and the Ashmolean.
The Museum offers a broad calendar of activities including lectures, children’s workshops and family events. The partnership with the Rivertime Boat Trust is one aspect of the Museum’s commitment to supporting SEND groups to experience the river and its heritage. We are keen to embed this work within the Museum’s core programming, growing the number and range of opportunities for groups to engage with our themes and collections.
Situated alongside the river in Henley on Thames, the building, designed by the acclaimed architect Sir David Chipperfield, was designated Royal Fine Arts Commission Building of the Year in 1999. The oak, glass and steel design combines the influence of local boathouses and Oxfordshire barns with a strong modernist approach and was described by him as a ‘resolution between convention and invention’. The Museum depends upon private donations, business sponsorship, grants from trusts and foundations, admission charges, commercial income and the support of our benefactors, donors and friends. The museum has delightful café with a terrace overlooking Mill Meadows, and a shop specialising in children’s books and games, fashion and craft.
About the Rivertime Boat Trust
Rivertime Boat Trust (RBT) is a registered charity established in 2006 by Pat and Simon Davis to:
- provide and maintain a specially constructed boat “Rivertime” and other facilities for disabled and disadvantaged people.
- organise trips in the boat along the middle stretch of the Thames between Windsor and Oxford
- work with other charities involved with disabled and disadvantaged people that have similar objectives.
Since ‘Rivertime’ was launched it has made over 2,000 trips carrying 24,000 passengers; it has travelled 8,000 miles on the River Thames and passed through 4,000 locks.
The Trust was awarded the prestigious ‘Queens Award for Voluntary Service’ in 2012 and in 2018 it won the Canal and River Trust ‘Living Waterways Award’ for Learning and Skills.
‘Rivertime’ has a ramp and a lift for those with mobility problems or in wheelchairs and has a large saloon with a sliding roof as well as a toilet for the disabled. Each year some 220 groups from charities and organisations for the disabled are able to enjoy trips on ‘Rivertime’. She is based at the River & Rowing Museum in Henley, spends a month at Eynsham Lock, Oxford, and another month at Reading and then visits Windsor during the Henley Regatta.
As well as organising 240-plus trips per year on ”Rivertime” the charity offers a range of additional activities, including:
- Rivertime Accessible Regattas for disabled children and young people, held at Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre in Berkshire, and offering a wide range of water and land-based activities.
- Accessible Boating where children from Special Needs Schools and charities for the disabled can enjoy paddling in bell boats and for wheelchair users taking trips in a ‘wheelyboat’ which can also be used by families with disabled members.
- Joint educational visits with the ‘River and Rowing Museum’ at Henley on Thames for special needs groups.
Testimonial: Opportunities young people would not have had before
‘As a school we have used your Rivertime boat service many times over the past five years. All
of these trips have enabled us to offer opportunities to our young people that they would not
have experienced before. We were able to broaden their horizons and help them realise that their
disability or special need did not need to hold them back…’
David Maycock, Head of PE, Brookfields Specialist SEN School, Reading
Press Release date: 12th July 2021