Supporting local charities and community causes

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The Thames Traditional Boat Festival 2023

Henley-on-Thames came alive with the spirit of tradition and community as the Shanly Foundation proudly sponsored the highly anticipated Thames Traditional Boat Festival 2023. The event, held over a weekend, showcased the timeless beauty of vintage boats, celebrated the craftsmanship of boat builders, and brought together groups of people for a truly memorable experience.

We are proud to have played a part in making the festival a resounding success. Our marquee welcomed different groups each day over the whole weekend, allowing local charities to enjoy the atmosphere and the river views.

On Friday, the Shanly Foundation welcomed 40 guests from Elizabeth House Cookham, a day centre for independent seniors. Undeterred by the rain, our guests embraced the Dunkirk spirit, mirroring the resilience of the historic boats on display. The guests were treated to high tea, served in beautiful china cups, complemented by an array of homemade cakes on delicate plates. The group then ventured out onto the water aboard the steamboat ‘Alaska’ for an hour-long trip along the Thames. Dawn, the manager of Elizabeth House, said, "Thank you again so much for making it such a special day for us all. We all really had an amazing time!"

Saturday witnessed an even larger gathering, with 60 guests including the Shanly Foundation Board of Trustees, their families, and representatives from 10 local charities. The marquee buzzed as guests enjoyed a buffet lunch whilst chatting about the important work of their various charities. As the day drew to a close, they had the opportunity to explore the festival, immersing themselves in the rich history of vintage boats, admiring military vehicles, and enjoying the live music.

Sunday's festivities were dedicated to 50 staff and children from Beech Lodge School, who joined the Shanly Foundation for a high tea celebration. The event marked the end of the school term and the beginning of a well-deserved break for the summer holidays. The sunny weather played its part, allowing everyone to sit outside the marquee, watching the boats glide past. The highlight of the day was a thrilling steamboat trip on the Windsor Belle.

Reflecting on the festival, Clare Junak, Awards Officer for the Shanly Foundation, said, "We are delighted to have been a part of this incredible event. The Traditional Boat Festival not only showcased the rich heritage of boat building but also brought together various communities and allowed us to support local charities. We are immensely proud of the impact this festival has had”.

The Thames Traditional Boat Building Festival 2023 in Henley was an outstanding success. We were not only delighted to lend our support, but additionally to play such an active part.