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Active Thames

The Active Thames programme is co-ordinated by the Port of London Authority (PLA) and encourages communities to get active – on (or beside) the River Thames and its inland waterways. 

Tideway has injected additional funding to mark the year in which the project begins protecting the river from pollution for the first time after eight years of construction.

The beneficiaries of the funding represent a range of groups from across London and the Thames estuary – and include eight on-water groups (rowing, paddling, sailing) hailing from as far west as Fulham and as far east as Leigh-on-Sea in Essex.

Three walking groups are also among the winners. The programmes will run between June and December.

See the full list of successful initiatives below and you can visit the Active Thames website for more information on the wider programme.

Greenwich UK Parkinson's Support Group
Walking, Thames Path
Funding will deliver bimonthly Pole Walking session (using specially designed strapless poles) for people living with Parkinson's and their care partners. A local Parkinson’s exercise specialist will deliver the sessions. Exercise tools called ‘Smoveys’ will be purchased to ensure the programme is accessible and provide an alternative to walking poles, and two volunteers will be trained to support future walks.

Around and Around - Lively Lady
Sailing, Thames and Medway Estuaries
The grant will update Lively Lady, the boat that the late Sir Alec Rose used to make his famous single-handed voyage around the world in 1968. The funding will be used to provide updated electrical, navigation, and safety equipment that is essential to supporting the volunteer team to achieve their ambitions, including getting people out sailing who would never normally have the chance to do so, and maintaining this historic yacht.

The Line
Walking, Thames Path and Lee navigation
Funding will go towards The Line’s Youth Guides’ programme, which supports local young people to develop transferrable skills and improve employability by providing training and work opportunities in the arts and heritage sector. The grant will go towards paying the London Living wage to the Youth Guides (18-21), who will work as guides on the route around Greenwich Peninsula, visiting artworks along the Line, every Saturday for eight weeks from mid-July.

Tideway Sailability
Sailing and Windsurfing, Greenland Dock
Funds will go towards purchasing a new Hansa 303 Access Sailing boat, which is specially designed to cater for people with a broad range of disabilities. This will expand their existing fleet to eight, increasing their capacity for each session to 20 people. This purchase is part of their strategy to expand and renew their existing fleet to meet the ever-increasing needs of disabled and disadvantaged members of the community.

Walking, Thames Path
New funding will provide weekly guided walks for adults with learning disabilities and autism, exploring the Thames Path. Walks will provide physical activity and learning, connecting people with the Thames. The funding will pay for a coordinator to manage the regular walks and support the learning sessions back at Re-Instate's Hub in Bexley.

4th/5th Leigh-on-Sea Sea Scouts
Kayaking, Thames – Old Leigh
The funding will enable the Sea Scouts to replace their ageing buoyancy aids and single-seater kayaks, supporting over 70 young people to get active on the Thames Estuary this summer. The group also plan to organise taster day for adults, and to raise their profile in Essex.

Gravesend Rowing Club
Rowing, Thames
The grant will enable five volunteers from the club to gain powerboating qualifications, meaning they can provide safety support for junior and beginner rowing sessions. The club will run two taster sessions and a ‘Learn to Row’ course this summer, recruiting from a broad network of community organisations in Gravesham.

Laburnum Boat Club
Paddling, narrow boating
Funding will support this charity to provide six, paid week-long work experience placements in paddlesports for disadvantaged young people, narrowboat trips for adults with mental health challenges, and three clean up days on the Regent’s Canal which will promote environmental awareness. Over 200 people will benefit from the funding this summer.

Shadwell Basin Outdoor Activity Centre
Paddling, rowing, sailing and outward-bound activities
Each summer, Shadwell Basin runs an exciting programme of watersports and outward-bound activities for young people in Tower Hamlets. The new funding will go towards the cost of employing coaches to deliver the courses, and the purchase of new buoyancy aids. In total, Shadwell intend to work with 300 young people over the summer, many of whom will be from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Popular HARCA
Paddling, Limehouse Cut
The community paddling club, now known as ‘Oar & Explore,’ will use their funding to provide family, disability and women-only paddling sessions on the Limehouse cut. Having grown to over 50 paddlers, 95% of which are minority ethnic women, the club is looking forward to reaching new audiences this summer.

Fulham Reach Boat Club
Rowing, Thames
A new sport will arrive on the Thames in West London: beach sprint rowing. A form of coastal rowing, beach sprints require skills in sprinting on land and turning the boat quickly around buoys on the water. It is a relatively new sport that will feature in the 2028 Olympics. With their funding, Fulham Reach Boat Club will launch taster sessions for this sport, and sliding-seat rowing, reaching adults with little or no rowing experience.