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Bin it, for a Cleaner Thames

A great cause – aimed at strengthening community ties through boat building – is being helped by the PLA’s latest charity donation.

The AHOY Centre in south London, which uses maritime training and a range of projects to help disadvantaged kids, recently launched the Community Boats Fund Raising Challenge. It’s focused on raising £24,000 and putting the ‘expertise’ of community volunteers to good use so that a pair of the club’s own Watermen’s Cutters can be built. We have donated £500 to the cause, the latest link in our fruitful association with the centre.

The challenge is approximately halfway to its fundraising target and the AHOY team needs more volunteers to help sand, varnish and do other tasks as part of the project.

The AHOY Centre’s Clive Ongley said: “We’re building two boats and are asking people for money or to

come along
and help us
build them.
The donation
from the PLA is very much appreciated. Last year we refurbished two of their cutters and work done on them by staff and kids here was of a high standard and much appreciated.

“The challenge will help kids 
who use AHOY learn about ownership and hone their skills
for a worthwhile and lasting project. We have seven local volunteers for the project from
the local community but we
want to bring in more people, so they can help sand, varnish and do what’s needed to make the challenge a success. But most
of all we need to fund the project.

“We are now just over half way through the fit out of the first boat and have cast the hull mould for the second. So unless we get some more money in we will have

to stop until further funds are raised.”

The boats will be used to offer more life-changing training, courses and programmes to both vulnerable and disadvantaged young and disabled people.

“Equally as important”, Clive added
“it will show that people, no matter what their background, can come together and help each other.”
PLA chief executive Robin Mortimer says the Authority was keen to
throw its weight behind such a worthwhile cause.

He added: “The AHOY Centre does vital work on the Thames, providing training for young people that helps prepare them for the future. We are so pleased to help the challenge.”

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