PRESS RELEASE: HRH The Princess Royal to launch first Thames Valley Accessible Regatta


Release date: 16 May 2017


Wednesday 14 June 2017 – Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre

HRH The Princess Royal will officially launch the Rivertime Accessible Regatta 2017 on Wednesday 14thJune at Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre, Marlow.  The Regatta, the first of its kind, is being organised by the
Rivertime Boat Trust and the charity Give Them a Sporting Chance, of which Her Royal Highness  is Guardian.

Over 350 young people aged 8-15, with a wide range of disabilities and special needs, will take part in the Accessible Regatta.   Drawn from over 20 local schools, the event is designed to give them the same sporting opportunities other young people freely enjoy.

The river will come to life with a full programme of water sports taking place along the stretch of the Thames at Bisham Abbey.   They include:

  • Competitive Bell boating – a fun activity for all ages, bell boats can fit between 8-12 people in a very stable craft constructed of two hulls, where the paddlers sit, connected with a platform in the middle. The boats are steered by a helm positioned at the stern of the boat
  • Sailing and powerboating – accessible sailing dinghies and motor boats will be there, as will the Rivertime launch for leisure trips and Coulam Wheelyboats V20 for more exhilarating trips that can reach speeds up to 30mph on open water
  • Accessible canoeing, which is debuting at this event, kayaking and rowing

As well as providing opportunities for those taking part in the regatta, there will be more than 20 young sports leaders volunteering on the day to assist the sports providers in delivering the events.  Many are also from SEN schools and are working towards certificates in leadership, so this event provides them with an excellent opportunity to put their skills into action.

Carers supporting the children participating in the regatta will have the opportunity to take part in a ‘Carers Challenge’ on the day as well, to recognise their contribution and support.

As well as water-based activities, young people will also have the opportunity to try various land-based activities. The National Sports Centre, working with other charities, will be putting on a range of land based accessible sports such as wheelchair basketball and tennis, boccia, cycling, new age kurling, cheerleading, archery, land sailing and disability football.

Simon Davis, Rivertime Boat Trust Co-founder and Chairman says: “I am delighted that the Princess Royal is able to join us to launch our first Accessible Regatta which is unique in providing participation for so many children and young people in one place at one time.

“We are delighted by the enthusiasm and support we have received and it is this which will drive us forward to create The Rivertime Accessible Regatta as an annual event, inspiring other organisations and charities to organise similar events and encouraging children and young people with disabilities to develop a long-term involvement with accessible sports.”

Anne Wadsworth, Give Them a Sporting Chance Trustee, says: “Everyone’s life can be enriched and their horizons expanded by a sporting chance.   I am delighted that so many special young people will share this wonderful day of sporting chances at Bisham Abbey on 14th June.  This is exactly what Give Them a Sporting Chance is all about.  It has been wonderful to work with the Rivertime Boat Trust to put on this event together.”

Manor Green School said “We like the opportunity to give our students the freedom of being on the river.  Being on water makes the children more independent and they also improve at working as a team.  The children can access it all because there is also the Wheelyboat and so everybody who comes along gets a go and nobody gets left out.  They absolutely love it.”

–  ENDS –

Any media wishing to attend, or for further information, interview requests, or images please contact Firebird PR:
Jana Fickerova or Jane Bevan at Firebird PR on 01235 835297 / 07977 459547 or via email to

Event details:

Wednesday 14 June 2017

Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre,
Bisham Village, Marlow Road, Bisham, Marlow SL7 1RR


About Rivertime Boat Trust

The Rivertime Boat Trust offer disabled and disadvantaged children and adults the opportunity to get out on the River Thames between Windsor and Oxford on their specially constructed boat.

In designing the Rivertime Accessible Regatta, the Rivertime Boat Trust is being advised by a panel of experts on disability and aspires to stimulate children and young people with disabilities to develop a long-term involvement with accessible sports.

The Rivertime Boat Trust is a charity registered with the Charity Commission.

For more information, visit

About Give Them a Sporting Chance

Give Them a Sporting Chance offers those with disabilities and their carers an opportunity to turn their sporting and recreational dreams into reality. All recipients are recommended by organisations and, in return for living their dream, those who receive chances raise funds for another charity of their choice (but not Give Them a Sporting Chance). This makes the charity unique.

For more information, visit

A variety of experts will be available for interview on the day including:

  • Simon and Pat Davis MBE, Rivertime Boat Trust Chairman and Co-founder
  • Anne Wadsworth OBE, Give Them a Sporting Chance Trustee
  • Lucy Herbert, Rivertime Boat Trust Head Skipper
  • John Jenkins MBE, SportsAble President
  • Peter May, Rivertime Accessible Regatta Director
  • Charles Reed, English Federation of Disability Sports Chairman and Sport England Trustee


PRESS RELEASE : New boat for Para-Rowers at Marlow named after Rivertime Boat Trust co-founder Pat Davis

"Rivertime Pat" Boat Naming

Rivertime Boat Trust LogoA donation of £2,500 from the Shanly Foundation has supported the purchase of a new boat for the Para-Rowers at Marlow Rowing Club. At a naming ceremony, organised by the Club on Sunday 7 May 2017, the Shanly Foundation unveiled the name for the boat. Inspired by one of the founders of the Rivertime Boat Trust the Shanly Foundation has decided to name the boat after Pat Davis. Pat set up the charity in 2006 and has provided memorable experiences for over 15,000 disabled and disadvantaged children and adults on the Thames so far.

The Rivertime Boat Trust is also staging the first ever Rivertime Accessible Regatta on the 14th June. With Marlow Rowing Club actively supporting the regatta it will showcase a wide variety of accessible activities on both water and land for children and young people with disabilities in the Thames Valley.

The donation for the new boat comes just in time for the Paralympic development scheme – a British Rowing initiative with Marlow Rowing Club to encourage more disabled individuals to get involved with Para-Rowing and step up to an elite level.

“We are thrilled to have been able to make this donation towards the new para-rowing boat at Marlow Rowing Club” comments Tamra Booth, trustee of the Shanly Foundation, who have sponsored both the Marlow Rowing Club and Rivertime Boat Trust. “This is an exciting time for the club, having been selected as hosts for the new Paralympic development scheme.”

Rivertime Pat naming ceremony (l-r) Richard Buckeridge, Marlow Rowing Club Member, Pat Davis, Rivertime Boat Trust co-founder, Jonathan Walne, Marlow Rowing Club Captain; credit MRC
Rivertime Pat naming ceremony (l-r) Richard Buckeridge, Marlow Rowing Club Member, Pat Davis, Rivertime Boat Trust co-founder, Jonathan Walne, Marlow Rowing Club Captain; credit MRC

“We wanted to name the boat after Pat who has, together with her husband Simon, made such a difference in the community and dedicated so much time to ensuring everyone, no matter how impossible it may seem, can enjoy life on the river. Pat’s cruises continue to be a highlight for many disabled people, young and old, so we thought it extremely fitting to recognise her achievements with her very own boat.”

Pat Davis, co-founder of the Rivertime Boat Trust says “It is a great honour to have this new boat named after me and the Rivertime Boat Trust. I am delighted to see that others also recognise the work we have done with the Trust over the last ten years in opening up the River Thames to the less able.”

Jonathan Walne, captain of Marlow Rowing Club, adds: “The adaptive rowing squad is an important part of our activities here at Marlow: the athletes make an enthusiastic contribution to club life, and have already achieved success at local, national and international level. We are very grateful for the continuing support from the Shanly Foundation, which will help the group grow and prosper. We look forward to more success from our athletes in the years ahead.

For further information on the Shanly Foundation and the causes it supports, please visit:



For further information, interview requests, or images please contact Firebird PR:

T: 01235 835 297/ 07977 459 547




  • Part of the Shanly Group of companies, The Shanly Foundation is the Group’s charitable arm established by founder and owner, Michael Shanly.
  • Financed entirely by the profits generated by the Shanly Group of companies, The Foundation has to-date donated over £10m to thousands of local community groups and charitable organisations to provide support and improve the quality of life for those most in need.
  • Other companies within the Group are Shanly Homes, Sorbon Estates and Shanly Partnership Homes specialising in commercial and residential property development, ownership and asset management across London and the South East.




  • The Rivertime Boat Trust offers disabled and disadvantaged children and adults the opportunity to get out on the River Thames between Windsor and Oxford on their specially constructed boat. The Trust is a charity registered with the Charity Commission.
  • On 14 June 2017, the Rivertime Boat Trust and Give Them a Sporting Chance will stage the first Rivertime Accessible Regatta in the Thames Valley for children and young people with disabilities.
  • The Rivertime Accessible Regatta will be held at the Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre, Berkshire and will include competitive bell boating, accessible sailing, wheelchair powerboating and canoeing, as well as a selection of land-based sports such as accessible cycling and chair basketball.
  • For more information, visit

Neurodiversity: Dyslexia – Resources for families and adults

Disability Co-operative Network

Neurodiversity: Dyslexia

Dyslexia is part of the neurodiversity spectrum which includes dyspraxia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, ADD, ASD (autism spectrum disorder) and tourettes. (Source: DANDA)

Up to 10% of the population are known to have dyslexic traits, however as knowledge and awareness increases more people, particularly adults are discovering that they are dyslexic.  This is something that is part of their lives and the strengths associated with dyslexia may be a hidden asset to the workplace.

Some people do not think that dyslexia is a disability, however it is recognised under the Equality Act 2010.  The issues a great deal of people experience are related to attitudinal discrimination in respect to lack of recognition, support and social barriers, not the dyslexic traits itself.

I think I might be dyslexic?

There are two options:  you can be screened for risk of dyslexic traits. There are indications (depending on method of high, moderate and low risk). Screening is economically good (costs from £30 onwards) and if you are not sure or need to know quickly for support.  Screenings are offered by local associations who have a great deal of experience in the field and can offer advice.

Diagnosis:  this needs to be done by an Educational Psychologist who is a specialist in Dyslexia or a specialist dyslexia teacher – these are assessors who must register with PATOSS ( and the British Dyslexia Association (  PATOSS and national charities can advise.
Be expected that diagnosis can cost from £200 upwards.  Some will charge about £500 for a formal diagnosis and report.

Suggested ways to find appropriate Educational Psychologists:

Whats next: How do my traits affect me?

In the past, some adults have been diagnosed with dyslexia but don’t know their strengths or how to manage their traits.  Others are very effective in planning, organisation, time management in respect to managing their dyslexic traits. They also recognise how their traits are effected under pressure.

If you don’t know how your dyslexia affects you?

There are a number of films available via You Tube which highlight the strengths of people with dyslexia.
Suggested ones would be:

Don’t Call Me Stupid by Kara Tointon BBC Productions
Kara has dyslexia and shows how recognising and managing traits can make the difference in a person’s life.  Also the effect of attitudinal discrimination and support can impact.

Dyslexia: A Hidden Disability
People in high finance, entertainment, medical and technology professions talk about the importance of recognition, diagnosis and support for children and adults.

The Usual Suspects:  West Midlands Fire Service
Members of the West Midlands Fire Service speak about their dyslexic traits and the workplace.

Training and expanding knowledge

British Dyslexia Association have launched an online course ‘How to Succeed at Home and Work as a Dyslexic Adult’.   It costs £12.99 for the module and is available via this link:

Booklets and information

‘Employers Guide to Dyslexia’
A booklet full of resources and suggested strategies is available via the British Dyslexia Association.

Dyslexia: How to survive and succeed at Work by Dr Sylvia Moody
A fantastic resource of suggested strategies and knowledge regarding dyslexia and workplace.  It usually retails at £13.00 but worth looking out for second hand copies on Amazon for about half the price.

Access to Work:  Access to Work is a Government funded scheme to support people including neurodiverse people in the workplace.  For information in how to apply for funding please check out this film via our website:

I’ve got a problem at work and I don’t know what to do?

Dyslexia is protected under the Equality Act and if you feel concerned about any matter relating to workplace, the following numbers can be helpful.

Do check out each organisations websites for resources before you ring:

Equality and Human Rights Commission advice line: 0808 800 0082

ACAS Confidential Helpline:  0300 123 1100. It is available Monday 8am-8pm, Tuesday 8am-6pm, Wednesday to Thursday 8am-8pm and Friday 8am-6pm
ACAS website also has useful resources:

British Dyslexia Association Helpline: 0333 405 4567
Helpline Opening Hours: Tuesday 10am – 1pm, Wednesday and Thursday 10am – 3pm.