Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

Princess Royal launches new SEND river project

A unique educational river programme for young people and adults with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) has been launched by HRH The Princess Royal.

The River & Rowing Museum initiative has been rolled out with support from the charity Give Them a Sporting Change (GTaSC) 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.

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 neurotypical 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.”

All children should be allowed to enjoy the pleasures of the river

The occasion marked the 15th anniversary of Rivertime’s boat that has been taking disabled and disadvantaged children and adults onto the River Thames since 2008.

The River & Rowing Museum is one of the UK’s leading independent museums, was formally opened by Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1998.

The Rivertime Boat Trust was founded in 2006 to provide a holistic range of water-based experiences for disadvantaged and disabled people through partnerships with other river users and community groups.

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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