A Royal Launch
18 Sep 2023
HRH The Princess Royal has today visited the River & Rowing Museum (RRM) and Rivertime Boat Trust (RBT) in Henley-on-Thames to launch a brand-new educational programme for young people and adults with special educational needs and disabilities.
The pioneering initiative has been rolled out with support from the charity Give Them a Sporting Change (GTaSC), of which HRH The Princess Royal is the Guardian.
The new educational programme has been jointly developed by RRM and RBT to promote education about the River Thames and the natural environment. During her visit to the recently modernised museum, Her Royal Highness met with local children to learn more about the initiative, which highlights important environmental issues related to wildlife protection, conservation, green living, and climate change.
When she arrived, pupils from Manor Green School in Maidenhead and Stony Dean School in Amersham, were immersed into the learning experience with five pieces of interactive apparatus used to teach topics such as erosion, transportation, flora and fauna, and floodplains.
Following her tour of the River & Rowing Museum classroom, the Princess witnessed first-hand how the pupils’ experience in the museum translates to their practical experience onboard the Rivertime boat by travelling along the River Thames with them. Her Royal Highness was particularly impressed with Rivertime’s ramp and hydraulic lift, a specially designed feature of the vessel that accommodates wheelchair passengers.
Chris Barrett, Chair of Trustees of Rivertime Boat Trust, said: “The Rivertime Boat Trust and the River & Rowing Museum have worked together for 15 years but the launch of this unique Educational Programme for neuroatypical and SEND children represents a significant milestone for both parties. It will enable children to develop an understanding of important issues of the day, such as the protection of wildlife, green living, and climate change, in a unique and hands on activity that we hope enriches and inspires them.”
David Worthington, Chair of the Trustees at River & Rowing Museum, said: “To have HRH The Princess Royal formally launch such an exciting new initiative is testament to the positive impact that our new joint programme will have on young people and adults with special education needs and disabilities. Our ‘Learning outside the Classroom’ accreditation allows us to raise awareness of important issues related to our vision to bring the river to life for all.”
Anne Wadsworth, OBE, of Give Them a Sporting Chance said: “Give Them a Sporting Chance is delighted to join the Rivertime Boat Trust and the River & Rowing Museum to teach children with special needs about the natural environment, and the history of the River Thames, and to enable them to enjoy the pleasures of the river for themselves. We hope every child who participates in this programme will have a life enhancing experience.”
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