The River Thames Boat Project has returned to Hermitage Community Moorings in 2018, with a record nine bookings. HRP funding of the previous schools fee of £260 (that covers just a part of the overall costs of delivering the days) has helped with uptake, as well as the big efforts by the project coordinator Zaria to make contact with schools during the year and to market these ‘Eco-Venturers’ workshops.

All classes are from the Key Stage 2 range (7-11 year olds), in class groups of 32 or so. The schools this year have come from a range of locations, locally from Wapping, Limehouse and Whitechapel, and also Victoria Park, Barking, Dagenham and Greenwich. Feedback from schools has been “good” or “very good”, and to quote from Kulvinder Johal of Northbury Primary School  “the pupils really enjoyed it, They learned new knowledge and used new terms – ‘turbidity’ was a good one”.

The children often have no idea that the people can live comfortably on board boats and are very curious about how it works. Some Hermitage residents have been very helpful in speaking to the children and taking questions from them. It helps them focus on resource-pressure issues that are discussed and gives a human face to some aspects of Sustainability.