2009 Booking Information

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					2009 Booking Information
All aboard Richmond Venturer in our 21stAnniversary year!
Making the Thames Accessible

A world of fun, learning and enjoyment with the River Thames Boat Project

The River Thames Boat Project - Who we are
We are a registered charity that aims to give people the chance to access the Thames, to discover this fascinating river and learn about its environment. We provide opportunities for personal and social development, and encourage people to become more independent by participating in running the Richmond Venturer, our specially adapted barge. The Venturer is available for day cruises, residential voyages or for static hire - as a floating classroom, for meetings or social events. We run 3 main programmes: • • • Accessing the Thames - Day or residential voyages tailored to the interests and needs of people with disabilities, older people, community organisations and adult education colleges. Living and Learning Afloat - Day or residential voyages for children and young people. School on the River – A day of Key Stage 2 environmental education activities, based around our education pack, that use the Thames as an educational resource, take place on the Venturer and the river bank.

Binoculars and information about the river and its wildlife are available on board.

Where we go
Voyages normally start from Kingston; the cruising area is between the Thames Barrier and Windsor. Day cruises usually go up river past Hampton Court Palace to Walton or Shepperton, where we stop for lunch or down river towards Putney. The boat returns to Kingston in the late afternoon. Alternatively, 2 to 5 day residential voyages upriver to Windsor can be arranged. Please note that all School on the River and down stream cruises are dependent on the tides, which change daily. Please speak to Miranda or Judy who will help you plan your cruise.


The Richmond Venturer
The barge is well appointed with a large galley - fitted with gas cooker, fridge, double sink, microwave, plus a good selection of crockery and cutlery - a spacious saloon, sleeping accommodation for ten passengers and four crew, two toilets and showers accessible to wheelchair users, a lift which provides access from the main deck to the accommodation below for those who cannot manage the stairs, safety equipment and a dinghy. The wheelhouse and upper deck offer superb views of the Thames and the passing scenery.

Our crew
The Boat Project employs a qualified skipper, who has overall responsibility for the Venturer and everyone on board. The crew, who are volunteers, undergo regular training. They help run the boat and will be happy to assist your group. Many are knowledgeable about the Thames and all will be pleased to talk to members of the group during the day as you cruise along the river. But please note that they are not trained carers and do not provide personal care.


Our Programmes
Accessing the Thames Accessing the Thames offers a choice of day or residential cruises tailored to the needs of people with disabilities, older people, community organisations and adult education colleges. The voyages provide opportunities for social, leisure and educational activities onboard the Richmond Venturer. Day Voyages - On a typical day cruise the Venturer goes up river to Walton or Shepperton. Tea and coffee is served when you arrive. We request that you include lunch for our volunteer crew. Everyone eats together around the table in the saloon or on deck when the weather permits.

Residential Voyages - Groups can explore the Thames up or down stream. On a typical 4 day residential voyage up river to Windsor, the first night can be spent at a peaceful spot in Laleham. The journey takes you further up stream through Windsor Great Park, with its magnificent views of the Castle. On arrival in Windsor there will be time to explore the town, go out for a meal or to the theatre. The following day the boat returns down river stopping at Staines or Egham for the night, returning to Kingston in the afternoon of the fourth day. Additional visits can include Hampton Court, Penton Hook and Runnymede. Shorter cruises can be arranged. Equipment On board the Venturer there are binoculars, books, information packs about the river and educational toys. Your group is welcome to make use of them during your visit, but please ensure they are left on the boat for future groups to enjoy.
“It is rare to find a leisure activity to which our profoundly disabled members can have complete access, and are accepted and treated with dignity and respect at all times. Thank you!”

Living and Learning Afloat A choice of day or residential cruises, tailored to the needs of children and young people, is available on our Living and Learning Afloat courses. The voyages provide opportunities for social, team building and educational activities on board the Venturer. During the voyage the group helps to run the Venturer - they learn how the Venturer works, plan the route and on board activities, assist the crew on deck, buy food, cook, clean and help keep the boat shipshape. The group leaders, our skipper and crew work together to facilitate the group, oversee activities onboard and encourage the young people to work as a team.
“Well what can I say except thank you to you and your team for such a wonderful day.”

Kit List for Residential Voyages Please ensure your group bring the following, packed in a soft bag which can be easily stowed away: Sleeping bag Pillow Pillow case Wash bag Towel Handkerchief/tissues Sun tan lotion Torch Jumper/Sweatshirt Fleece T shirts 2 pairs trousers Shorts Socks Underwear 2 pairs soft soled shoes e.g. trainers Waterproof jacket & trousers

Please note the River Thames Boat Project cannot accept responsibility for mobile phones, MP3 players, cameras, binoculars, jewellery, money, credit/debit cards or other valuables brought on board.


School on the River School on the River offers a day of activities based around our Key Stage 2 environmental education pack, specially developed and written by the River Thames Boat Project with a local teacher. It uses the Venturer and the Thames as an educational resource. For School on the River bookings the boat is moored alongside the towpath and used as a floating classroom. • • • • • • School on the River offers a comprehensive cross curricular environmental study programme of the Thames. Children learn about the Thames through a variety of activities which take place on board the Venturer and on the river bank. School on the River covers a range of subjects including: Geography; History; Science; English; Maths and Art. Experienced teachers are employed to deliver School on the River, supported by our trained volunteers. Work sheets are easily photocopied and cover pre-visit activities, on site activities and post-visit activities. The Teachers’ Notes provide useful background reading and National Curriculum links.

We recommend School on the River at Teddington Lock - a unique stretch of the Thames where the non-tidal river meets the tidal Thames. School on the River at Teddington Lock offers: • • • Opportunities to compare and contrast the non-tidal and tidal Thames within a small area. An island, a weir, foreshore, two footbridges and a variety of bank treatments. Three locks - the smallest and largest on the river Thames.

“Feedback from the children was as always very positive. The work from the visit reflects how well they were able to learn from the experiences offered.”


Information for Groups Leaders
If you have not been on the Venturer before we advise that you arrange a visit to the boat before your trip. Please ensure that you bring an appropriate number of staff/carers to look after the needs of the individuals in your group. Making Your Booking Please complete the Booking Form and Passenger Record Form enclosed. Make copies of them for your own records and send the original forms to the office with your payment. On arrival at the boat, please give a copy of the Passenger Record Form, with any last minute changes, to the Mate. Preparing For Your Trip During the voyage your group is likely to spend most of the day outside, please ask everyone to wear suitable clothing - a fleece, waterproof jacket, trousers and flat soft soled shoes e.g. trainers. Even in the summer the wind-chill factor on the river can be considerable. If the weather is bad, please ensure both your clients and staff/carers bring a warm jacket, hat and gloves - several thin layers of clothing is the best way to keep warm. When the weather is hot and sunny, do not forget to bring suntan lotion, sunglasses and hats. Once on board, please encourage your group to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Umbrellas can be useful for providing shade on deck, but please do not bring very large umbrellas as they can obscure the view from the steering position. Once On Board The group leader and accompanying staff/carers play an important role to help your group make the most of the trip. Under the guidance of the skipper and crew they work with the crew to facilitate the group, assist with activities, especially on Living and Learning Afloat trips, and encourage the young people to work as a team. The group leader and staff/carers are responsible for the conduct of your group during their visit.


Meals The Venturer is usually hired on a selfcatering basis, however, a list of caterers can be provided. We suggest that you plan a picnic or prepare a hot meal in advance, which can be heated-up in the galley. Lunch can be eaten around the table in the saloon or out on deck, weather permitting. The Boat Project provides tea, coffee, milk, sugar, salt and pepper, tea towels and washing up liquid. There is plenty of crockery and cutlery, saucepans, chopping boards, etc. in the galley. Please do not bring paper plates, plastic cups or plastic cutlery. They are not environmentally friendly and are easily blown into the river when taken on deck. It has become a custom that meals are provided for the skipper and volunteer crew by the visiting group. This gives everyone the opportunity to share the meal and discuss the voyage. It helps group dynamics and is often a time when you find out most about the river, its wildlife and history .

Health and Safety
Food Hygiene Please observe the following food hygiene rules: • Store food safely in the fridges. DO NOT place uncooked meat above cooked or fresh foods, always store it at the bottom of the fridge. • Wash your hands before preparing food and cover cuts or grazes. • Wash knives, chopping boards etc used for preparing uncooked meat before using them to prepare raw or previously cooked foods. • Make sure food is properly cooked. • When reheating prepared food ensure it is piping hot before serving. • If any of your group assists the crew on deck or if anyone comes into contact with river water, ensure they wash their hands before they eat.

Safety Briefing When you arrive on board you will asked to go down into the saloon for a safety briefing. Please assist the crew by ensuring everyone in your group is present. Acquaint yourself and your group with the location of the exits, first aid kit and lifejackets in case of an emergency. Please ensure that instructions given by the skipper and/or crew are carried out quickly and calmly and that the NO SMOKING policy inside the boat is observed. Care should be taken whilst moving around the Venturer at all times. While outside, the group should stay on the upper deck (painted green). Clients are not allowed on the foredeck and side decks. Sitting on the bollards is strictly forbidden. Heads, bodies, arms and legs should not dangle from the side of the boat. The lift must only be operated under the supervision of the skipper or crew. River Safety Code Staff/carers/parents bringing a group of children or young people on board should ensure that everyone knows our River Safety Code before the voyage.

• • • • • • • • •

Watch out for danger at all times. Do not run on deck, at the lockside or on the river bank. NEVER go into the water deeper than welly deep. Only work on, in or by the river with an adult in sight at all times. Do not splash other people or push them into the water. Cover cuts and scratches with plasters and wear rubber gloves. Do not get river water in your mouth, nose, eyes or ears. Do not eat or drink whilst working. Wash your hands after working on, in or by the river and before eating.

This code is based on a RoSPA approved code of safety

Lifejackets Passenger lifejackets are stored under the bunks. If any member of the group is under 16, a non-swimmer or lacks confidence on board, they should wear a lifejacket on deck whilst the boat is underway. Wheelchair users should have their lifejacket easily available at all times. When cruising at night, everyone must wear a lifejacket whilst on deck or at any other time at the skipper’s discretion.

Evacuation Procedure In the unlikely event of having to evacuate the boat in an emergency, please proceed as follows: • The emergency alarm is either: a continuous ringing of the ship=s bell, or seven long and one short blast of the ship=s horn. If you hear either of these signals, leave the accommodation by the steps at the front of the boat or at the stern into the wheelhouse. Do not take your belongings with you. Go straight to the AMuster Point@ on the port side (left-hand side) of the boat. When instructed, evacuate the boat quickly and calmly. Keep your group together and assist the crew by doing a head count to ensure all are present. Do not go back onto the boat. Follow instructions of the skipper and crew at all times.


• • •


Use of Calor Gas The gas oven and hob use Calor Gas, which is stored in canisters on the boat. Please ensure there is a responsible adult in the galley at all times when the oven, grill or gas rings are being used. Never leave these appliances unattended when in use, in case the flame is blown out. If you smell gas, check to see that the oven, grill and gas rings are turned off and tell a member of crew immediately. Kettles should not be left boiling just in case they are needed - this wastes energy and causes condensation.


Living in a New Environment
When underway, the Venturer is completely independent of the services we all take for granted - fresh water, power supplies and sewage disposal. As part of the environmental aspects of the Boat Project please try to use them carefully. We would like to draw your attention to their use and conservation. • Water Fresh water is carried in tanks under the saloon floor. There should be enough water on the boat to last several days. If, however, taps are left running, the supply will quickly dry up. Please remember not to leave the tap running when washing your hands, washing up or cleaning your teeth, and always turn off dripping taps. Use water sparingly and think of ways to re-use water before throwing it away. This will reduce consumption and reduce the time spent filling the tanks - which can take several hours. Power The lights, water pumps, toilets, lift and some of the safety equipment on Venturer are powered by batteries, which will discharge quickly if any lights or water taps are left on unnecessarily. If this happens the facilities we all rely on will fail. Waste Sewage is stored in tanks under the shower-room floors. When the tanks are full, the effluent is pumped ashore. It may be necessary to carry out this operation during your stay on board, if so we apologise for any inconvenience caused. Recycling There is a recycling box in the galley. Please separate waste into recyclable and none recyclable rubbish. Remember to wash and squash all plastic bottles, tear plastic “windows” from cardboard containers e.g. sandwich boxes and to recycle foil.





Layout of Richmond Venturer

Wheelchair Access
Please note that the maximum sized wheelchair the boat’s gangway and lift can accommodate is 675mm wide by 1m long. • The gangway has tubular strengthening toe rails, 685 mm apart, which run the length of the ramp. Please check the wheelchair’s overall width to ensure the wheels will pass between these two rails. If the wheelchair is fitted with hand-rims, the lowest part of the hand-rims must be at least 140mm from ground level to clear the toe rail.



The lift is fitted with two gates approx 1m apart. Please check the wheelchair’s overall length from the front edge of the footplate to the rear of the headrest or pushing handles, whichever is the furthest. If this distance exceeds 1m the wheelchair will not fit on the lift.

Map and Directions - Richmond Venturer

Barge Dock, Canbury Wharf, Thames Side, Kingston KT1 1PX Richmond Venturer is moored close to Kingston town centre in the Barge Dock, Thames Side (the coal wharf for the former power station). It is situated at the corner of Down Hall Road and Thames Side, between the railway bridge that crosses the river and Canbury Gardens. You will see Venturer moored beyond the high fence surrounding the Dock, the entrance is through a gate on the left as you approach Canbury Gardens. Travelling by Car or Minibus From Hampton Wick and Hampton Court - Go over Kingston Bridge, stay in the left-hand lane, under John Lewis (the large yellow brick building) following signs to Thames Side. In Wood Street take the left-hand filter at the traffic lights next to TGI Friday, but make sure you are in the right-hand lane at these lights. Go under the railway bridge ahead of you and turn sharp left into Down Hall Road.


From the Outskirts of Kingston - On the one-way system take the middle lane, following signs to Town Centre and Thames Side. Pass the Odeon Cinema (corner of Clarence Street and Cromwell Street) and the railway station on your right. In Wood Street stay in the middle lane - do not get swept right, down the underpass into Kingsgate Road. Take the long right-hand filter (which runs parallel to the traffic heading for Kingston Bridge) following signs to Thames Side to the traffic lights by TGI Friday. Turn right at the traffic lights, go under the railway bridge and sharp left into Down Hall Road. Parking Short Stay - Pay and Display street parking in Down Hall Road and Thames Side (max. stay 2hrs) Long Stay - Car park next to the mooring; Bentall=s multi-storey or John Lewis car parks in Steadfast Road; Seven Kings multi-storey (by Sainsburys off Richmond Road). Minibus Parking - There is a parking bay for minibuses in Down Hall Road. Disabled Parking: If you have a Blue Badge ensure it is properly displayed, otherwise you will get a parking ticket. Travelling by Public Transport Trains - Southwest Trains run the mainline service from Waterloo to Kingston every 15 minutes, the journey takes about 20 minutes and it is a 5 minute walk from the station to the Venturer. Turn right out of the station, take the foot bridge over Kingsgate Road, walk under railway bridge and left into Down Hall Road. At the bottom of Down Hall Road turn right towards Canbury Gardens, you will see Richmond Venturer moored in the Barge Dock on your left. Bus - A large number of buses go to Kingston town centre. Please check the Transport for London website - or contact the office and we can advise you on the route numbers. Most buses stop in Wood Street, between the Bentall Centre and John Lewis. By foot from the town centre - Walk to the riverside, turn right and walk down stream with the river on your left, towards Canbury Gardens, go under the railway bridge which crosses the river. There is a high fence around the Wharf, you will see Richmond Venturer moored on your left, and the entrance is through a gate on the left as you approach Canbury Gardens. If you are delayed on your way to the Venturer please phone the boat: 07738 642860 or the office: 020 8940 3509 or 07889 272985


Monitoring and Evaluation
After your visit we will send you a Monitoring Form. We would be very grateful if you could spend a couple of minutes completing the form. The information you give helps us to monitor our services and provides information we require for funding purposes.

If you have any questions about your trip please do not hesitate to contact us. We hope you enjoy your visit to the Richmond Venturer. Please ensure that the boat is clean and tidy before you leave and that you take all your belongings with you. Thank you.

A large print version of this booklet is available on request.

River Thames Boat Project 66 Hill Street Richmond Surrey TW9 1TW office: boat: email: website: 020 8940 3509 or 07889 272985 07738 642860

River Thames Boat Project Ltd. Registered Office: 66 Hill Street Richmond Surrey TW9 1TW Company no. 3953201 Registered charity no. 1080281


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Description: 2009 Booking Information