Help us stay afloat! Every donor* will be added to a raffle to win a large Thames photo print canvas from photographer and supporter of WBB, Annette Price of H2O Photography. See below for details.
The Westminster Boating Base (WBB) is a charity for young people offering sailing, kayaking and powerboating on the Thames in central London. Our facilities and team of dynamic, dedicated staff provide a year-round programme for young people, including school groups, from the local Borough and further afield. We have been running since 1975 and this will be our 45th anniversary year.
We generate our revenue through a combination of watersports activities for adults and schools, venue hire of our riverside premises via our loyal sub-contracting events and catering company Retro Ltd, and grants received from continuous fundraising efforts.
As the coronavirus crisis swept across Europe and onto our shores, like many other organisations, WBB was severely affected.
Almost overnight, WBB lost the means to generate income.
With no income generation, the only thing to do was put the Base into (hopefully temporary) hibernation.
All our permanent staff – Rod, Adam and Pippa - have been furloughed to reduce costs, and we are no longer employing any freelancers.
All fixed costs - utilities, insurance, IT etc. – are being reduced as far as possible.
All operation during hibernation is being managed by the Trustees and a small band of volunteers from the Management Board and instructor team, working hard to make the charity’s survival and subsequent revival a reality.
With the government furlough paying our staff reduced salaries, our outgoings will total £25k to the end of July (£35k to the end of September if the shutdown continues that long). Additionally, we need capital to be able to re-open. Any fixed costs delayed during the hibernation period will need to be repaid once we are back up and running.
We have sourced some potential funding:
• a contribution from Retro Ltd, our contracted events company
• a grant from Tachbrook Ward Funds, subject to terms and condition
• a grant from the John Lyons Foundation, subject to agreement, receivable in June
We have been awarded rent and tax breaks from Westminster Council. There is a possibility that they may offer further funding.
We are also actively pursuing other lines of grant funding.
We have our previous minibus project crowdfunds of £15k held in reserve along with booking fees for courses and activities we haven’t yet been able to deliver.
Reaching our £10k target will provide essential funds to help us cover our minimum running costs and stay afloat for an extra couple of months. We are hoping that the money raised through this crowd-fund will plug the gap before additional funds become available. Without any other source of funding, the money we have will run out before June.
We’re actually aiming to raise substantially more than this figure in total from our “Save the Base” campaign efforts – £100k would put us in a really secure position for the future. If we are successful at hitting the £10k target on this crowdfund, we may stretch our goals a little and see where it takes us but the bulk of the money needed will likely come from other sources.
If we are not able to secure additional funding we may be forced to close the doors. The WBB Trust, and all the wonderful services it offers to the community, would simply cease to exist.
There are many people like yourself who believe in what Westminster Boating Base stands for.
So please, please donate…
… to the charity that has remained true to the principle of providing affordable watersports
… to support our local community, schools and youth groups
… to the charity which has touched so many young people's lives over the years and provided watersports to many who would not otherwise have had the experience.
... to support the senior and elderly in our community and provide physical activity via our Upperdeckers group of over 50s
… to the charity which has imparted transferable life skills, training and leadership potential to its young users, volunteers and staff
… to support the staff and freelancers whose livelihoods depend upon it
… to support an organisation that welcomes people regardless of geography, age, race, gender, religion, ethnic group, disability, etc – that welcomes everyone with open arms, including YOU!
UPDATE: Entries for the draw officially CLOSED at 7pm on Thursday 21st May.
*We will enter all those donating £10 or more into a raffle. The prize is a photographic print on canvas by Annette Price.
Annette is a professional photographer specialising in adventure sports, wild places and the River Thames. A long-term supporter of WBB, she is a qualified kayak coach and has spent many a sunny evening (and a few rainy) out on the river teaching youngsters and adults to kayak. Annette’s latest and ongoing project is to photograph the River Thames from source to sea. By photographing from a kayak, she is able to recreate the magic of the river and its astonishing perspectives.
Annette is generously donating one of her canvasses from her recent exhibition "The River Within - London" at the Riverside Gallery in Richmond-Upon-Thames. The winner can choose from one of 8 canvasses. Annette is also donating 15% of any print sales made through this page too.
You can see the full selection of eight and read more about Annette’s work at:
Raffle draw small print:
The draw will be made once the crowdfund is finished (initial time set is 4 weeks ending Sunday 10th May). The draw will be made online and will be publicly viewable via our social media channels. The winner will be notified by email and their choice of canvas sent by courier.