The Tea Boat Project

The Tea Boat Project is a social enterprise and community project about 100 metres up-river from Staines Bridge on the Runnymede side. Phase One of the scheme has cleared both sides of the towpath along this stretch of the river and an area now laid to grass with flower beds and several park benches. Longer term, the plan is to moor a boat alongside and operate it as a floating café. Local businesses and Runnymede Borough Council have help fund tools, a tool-shed, and new plantings.

All of the work has been undertaken by volunteers from local businesses and young people from less privileged backgrounds (in collaboration with Jobcentre Plus (Department of Work and Pensions). In fact a key element of The Tea Boat Project is to create opportunities particularly for long term unemployed and those from lesser privileged circumstances to build confidence and offer hope and realistic prospects for their future by engaging in community activities. The scheme aims to support them in developing skills, positive goals and a positive outlook through tailored programmes of self development. The project also collaborates with The Hythe Habitat down-river from the bridge.