Unleashing the power of volunteers to transform London’s rivers

Thames21 has announced a major new initiative which will transform how communities speak up for and act to improve the health of their local rivers across London. It will also deliver four new major river restorations in London over five years.

The Lund Trust is giving £1.75m over five years to deliver the EMPOWER Rivers Programme, which will empower local people to advocate for improvements to the health of local rivers and to capture evidence that will drive these improvements. Thames21 will run an extensive training programme where volunteers can access knowledge and specialist skills so that they can look after, monitor and improve river health and undertake small-scale river restorations. A growing network of independent, volunteer-led community groups will be able to apply for small grants to fund their work. The programme will allow Londoners to continue to celebrate London’s rivers and the work that volunteers do to look after them in London Rivers Week, and enable Thames21 to strengthen its work with partners across London and the Thames basin, using the data collected by volunteers to push for more and larger scale river improvements across London.

Thames21’s Chief Executive, Chris Coode, said: “We’re thrilled that funding from the Lund Trust will enable us to unleash the power of volunteers through the EMPOWER Rivers Programme. We know that our volunteers have the interest, enthusiasm and capacity to do a lot more on rivers, and now we’ll be able to provide them with the training, support and small grants which will enable them to do it. The four major river restoration projects will provide a focal point each year to bring our volunteers together and celebrate the amazing work we all do to protect our rivers and build climate resilience across London.”

Read more about the Lund Trust here: https://lundtrust.org.uk/