Support our river heroes

The RNLI rescue an average of 22 people every day of the year from around our coasts and on the River Thames.

I know it’s a bit outside our area but there’s an event happening this weekend that I just had to draw to readers’ attention – the Teddington River Festival and RNLI Station Open Day.

Charity challenge for female rowers

The intrepid crew will be paddling 116 miles along the Thames to raise money for two good causes.

I always enjoy turning the spotlight on some of the wonderful things river people undertake for charity – and this week is no exception.

Day RNLI heroes rescued us at sea

The team from the RNLI Egham and Virginia Water branch at their collection table in the Elmsleigh Centre, Staines. They raised more than £1,000 in a day

The special reason I have for supporting the fourth emergency service

Tide of support for soldiers

Patients and staff from the military rehabilitation centre at Headley Court aboard the Richmond Venturer.

A trip along the Thames in the Richmond Venturer a healing tonic for ex-servicemen and women

Life-affirming project

The Chernobyl mums and their children relax aboard the Richmond Venturer

I’ve always had a lot of time for the charity called the River Thames Boat Project, which aims to introduce people to our wonderful river and to give people – particularly youngsters and the disabled – the chance to spend time on the water.

For those in peril…

RNLI Lifeboat

To anyone who spends time messing about in boats of all kinds, the dangers inherent in a life on the water are always there in the background.

Lucky numbers all round

When 74-year-old John Molnar put a £2 charity donation into the bowl on Shepperton-based Bridge Marine’s stand at the London Boat Show, to give himself the chance of winning an outboard motor, he wasn’t terribly hopeful about his chances.

Derek’s treasure trove

Many readers will remember, with great affection, Herald and News columnist Derek Belsey who, for many years, provided us with words and pictures about his favourite obsession – birds.

Barge on board the Venturer to capture scenes of river life

Charities find very diverse ways of raising money for their causes but one of the most original – and effective – has recently been demonstrated by the good people associated with the Thames Boat Project, which was set up to help make the Thames more accessible to a wide range of people.

Old salt lends sea cadets a hand as they struggle to keep HQ shipshape and dry

I'm always delighted to hear about the hard work put in by volunteers aimed at helping youngsters make the most of their free time. So it was with a great deal of pleasure that I attended the official unveiling of a new roof for the premises housing Sunbury and Walton Sea Cadets on the banks of the Thames next to Shepperton Marina recently.