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Project information

Swingbridge Community Boats Project

The Big Idea is that we help vulnerable & disadvantaged people in otherwise affluent Surrey to have a second chance in life thru skills training, & also offer them respite with a trip on our two community boats. The boats undertake conservation work with offenders & volunteers & turns lives around.

August 2011 - December 2012

Charity information: Surrey Care Trust

Surrey Care Trust logo
  • Need


    For those with low self-esteem & those lacking in confidence, it provides opportunities to re-build lives after, either offending or other debilitating experiences, such as alcoholism and homelessness, or simply not feeling qualified to work in a highly educated marketplace. Also, conserving Surrey’s waterways by clearing & maintaining work on behalf of the National Trust & Environment Agency. Also, by providing therapeutic, educational trips to vulnerable groups from other charities in Surrey.


    We have seen offenders become clean, give up smoking and drinking and volunteer for Swingbridge, helping others. We have seen former offenders go on to find work and turn their lives around. Daily, throughout the summer months, we see our 50+ volunteers working as teams, without whom we could not run the project, providing trips for others to benefit from. We have groups of disadvantaged youths growing in confidence and learning new skills. We're providing opportunities for learning and growth.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To provide unpaid work placements for offenders, referred by Surrey & Sussex Probation Trust


    » Work placements provided 1 day per week to groups of up to 8 offenders. 70 individual offenders supervised throughout the year.
    » Offenders to work with our Environmental Trainer and two volunteers clearning and maintaining the footpaths & adjoining land as required by NT & EA.

    What success will look like

    Success will be shown by attendance of groups of 8 offenders 1 day per week. Totalling 140 individual offenders supervised.

    Aim 2

    To provide skills training for offenders, through Surrey & Sussex Probation Trust.


    » 40 offenders undertake Laser Learning Awards (skills training) in tool handling & maintenance,

    What success will look like

    Success will be shown by 40 offenders undertaking skills training with Laser Learning Awards (formerly OCN). 2.250 offender hours worked.

    Aim 3

    To provide volunteering opportunities & skills training for volunteers & young people.


    » Training volunteers in boat handling and some in skippering. Volunteers & young people undertake Laser Learning Awards.

    What success will look like

    Success will be shown by 40 days of Vol training. Vols achieving Cert in Boat Maintenance, Boat Handling, Crew Competency Certs. 60 people achieving OCNs & 4,500 vol hours worked.

    Aim 4

    To provide an environmental service to Surrey waterways through clearance & conservation work.


    » By delivering a programme of environmental work in partnership with National Trust, Environment Agency & Basingstoke Canal Authority.

    What success will look like

    Success will be shown by completing satisfactorily an agreed programme of work 3 days per week. 6 winter months on River Thames, & 6 months on River Wey.

  • Impact


    Programme Manager to provide details.


    PM to provide


    We will report back in writing on an agreed basis, either annually or more frequently if required. We also produce a short newsletter called Swingbridge News twice a year, which we send to our supporters.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £76,100

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £49,480 Salaries 3 P/T staff, including training
      £5,500 Tools, equipment & course cost Waterproofs, gloves, gardening & DIY tools, training delivery costs for beneficiaries
      £6,470 Boat & other running costs, Insurance, oil, diesel, mooring & maintenance, phone, postage,stationery. leaflets & groceries
      £7,250 Staff & Vols travel Volunteers expenses are paid for by charity
      £7,400 Management & support Head office support costs

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Coleman Charitable Trust £10,000 Guaranteed
    Veolia Environmental Trust £20,600 Conditional
    Co-Operative Membership Fund £500 Guaranteed
    D'Oyly Carte Charitable Trust £5,000 Guaranteed
    Livingstone Trust £750 Guaranteed
    Michael Shanly Charitable Trust £2,000 Guaranteed
    Provincial Grand Lodge of Surrey £1,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The River Thames and the River Wey in Surrey


    Local communities current and in years to come. Offenders on community payback schemes with Probation. Members of the public who volunteer for us, many rebuilding their lives after trauma. Disadvantaged young people attending our programmes and vulnerable people in community groups within the Surrey community who come on our boats.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have been running the Swingbridge programme since 2002 and it gets better from year to year.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Margaret Reeder

    Programme Manager. Margaret has worked for Surrey Care Trust in various capacities for over 20 years and she has been the Manager since 2002

    Christine Padmore

    Chris is the Volunteers Co-ordinator and organises the complicated rotas for 3 crews per day, plus co-ordinates the accreditation courses, etc.

    Catherine Frew Brown,Environmetnal Trainer

    Andy Loble left us one month ago after two years in this role. A young man, he's moved on to develop his career and Catherine starts 18 August.

    Over 50 Volunteers, Retired, Unemployed & Recovering Offenders & Alcoholics, Etc.

    Who skipper and crew the boat trips and the conservation work days, without whom the Swingbridge programme would not operate. They also train others.