Spring Newsletter 2024

Spring Newsletter 2024


The recent warm and calmer weather is an indication of a new season for delivering activities from AHOY. Not that we stopped our service over the winter but a significant priority in recent months has been to maintain all our equipment, buy and prepare new vessels, update staff training needs and liaise with schools and community groups on required activities for the year.

This newsletter highlights the wide range of beneficiaries who benefit from AHOY. From eleven year-olds who have the opportunity to access Duke of Edinburgh award scheme, adults with disabilities who host our community lunches, a local women’s community group who are accessing our Centre for the first time, corporate staff teams raising money for our charity through rowing challenges, older people with health issues using our gym, people of all ages who have gained rowing, sailing and power boat qualifications.

This is also a period of change in leadership at AHOY. Giovanna Pomillio has been a trustee and then Chair of our Board of Trustees since August 2016 and is retiring this month. Everyone at AHOY is hugely grateful for her dedicated service and she will be much missed. Thank you Giovanna!

The Board has recently appointed David Reader as our new CEO and he is due to commence on 10th June. David has a career history of involvement in a variety of sports and is currently Strategic Lead for London Sport. Welcome David!

It also means that my planned retirement can take place! After two and a half years as CEO I am due to step down at the end of May. Not leaving entirely though as I plan to continue rowing from AHOY

I hope you find this newsletter interesting. A big thank you to Jane Tucker who produces all AHOY newsletters. Jane has been a volunteer at AHOY for six years and we feel she is very much part of our team, amazingly helpful and influential!
Andy Palmer


The Oarsome rowing season is on the horizon and we’re recruiting teams to take part in a thrilling adventure on the Thames.

This isn’t merely about sports, team building, or participating in a unique event it’s about empowering young, disadvantaged and disabled people through sport on the water. Proceeds go towards creating an increasing number of opportunities for our beneficiaries.

Join us and make a difference!

No rowing experience? No problem! We provide all training and equipment.

We’re seeking teams of 6, each of which will be guided by one of our experienced rowing coxswains.

Take on one of three “Oarsome” Challenges: The Meridian Pull, The Thames Barrier Challenge, or the AHOY Challenge. These are suitable for all fitness levels.

Celebrate your accomplishment at the end of the row in our stunning riverside hall for drinks, photos, and the all-important times.

Step aboard for the challenge of year.

For more information, please contact rowing@ahoy.org.uk.


Over the last few months the gym at AHOY has been upgraded with some new equipment and is now being used by more local community groups.

The photos above show members of the Parkinson’s UK Greenwich Support group who come once a month to use the gym which has been very popular and successful. The gentleman pictured had just celebrated his 80th birthday!
The group would love to come more often but need additional funding to facilitate that. Please get in touch with sarah@ahoy.org.uk if you can help.

Another new group is a community based women’s group called The Deptford Oars! The aim of this group is to bring local women together in a friendly and safe environment where they can get involved with the river by learning to row. There is a £5 donation with the long term aim of buying a community boat. They had their first experience of being on the water earlier this month. For more information please contact lucyloveslife@hotmail.co.uk

The Friday Youth Group is a popular class run after school. It runs from 4-5pm for local children over 11 with the goal of competing at the National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships.

The equipment improvements include new monitors and phone cradles for the rowing machines and three refurbished static bikes. We have additional funding to spend on equipment specifically for Junior users.
We have also recently trained 9 people on the British Rowing GO ROW course to become indoor rowing instructors so look out for news about new rowing courses to be announced soon.


AHOY has been successful in getting funding and accreditation to run 2 day expeditions as part of the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award. The funding covers the training for our watersports staff to become DofE leaders and to buy equipment required.

Initially six Shipmates at a time will row twenty miles to Teddington where they will camp overnight before rowing back the next day. They will have to prepare for their expedition by creating a pilotage plan using charts and basic navigation, and learning basic first aid and cooking skills.

News of the expeditions in future newsletters!


Our Powerboat Level 2 courses continue to be very successful and we consistently get 5* feedback. Here’s what the latest course participants had to say:
“Brillliant. Covered all the key bits of the course and the instructor let myself and the other participant do some more “advanced” topics once we had grasped the essentials. Great weekend of fun.”
You can book a place here


This course for adults provides a short introduction to sailing for novices. By the end of the course, you will have a basic understanding of dinghy-handling techniques and background knowledge. More info and dates here

During this course for 8-16 year olds, you will learn the basics of sailing, parts of the boat and how to launch, recover, and steer. After completing Stage 1, you will understand the basic principles of sailing in order to move on to Stage 2. No prior knowledge or experience of sailing is needed to take up this course. More info and dates here

Both courses are approximately 16 hours over two full days.

Join us on April 23rd from 9am to 5pm for a day of learning essential first aid skills.
For more info and registration contact sarah@ahoy.org.uk

Sailability Lunches Are Back!

Our Sailability programme is a weekly activity designed to inspire and encourage those participants who require extra support because of their disabilities. We use the medium of rowing and sailing to improve independent living, skills, self-confidence and social engagement. Sailability is a special and proven way of combatting loneliness and social isolation; increasing physical activity; forming friendships and developing coping mechanisms for a better, more balanced independent life and future.

Pre Covid a popular part of this programme were the weekly lunches when participants, staff and any visitors ate together and shared news. In particular it gave visitors, especially Corporate Volunteers and other AHOY supporters, an opportunity to see directly how their efforts benefited the young people who come to AHOY. This is what one corporate volunteer said:

“They also provided us a very tasty lunch, which we sat and ate with the people this charity is aiming to support. That gave the things we were doing extra meaning by allowing us to see what this charity does first hand.”

Initially these lunches will run on the first Wednesday of each month. If your organisation would like to have a fulfilling day volunteering with us please contact jonny@ahoy.org.uk

Become a regular giver and help change the future of young people
A small gift from you every month will make the world of difference to the disadvantaged young people we work with.

Through regular support, you’ll be helping us to plan for the future and continue to provide the very best services aimed to engage and inspire our beneficiaries – providing them with hope and aspirations for a successful future.
Become a regular giver

Find more ways to support AHOY

For the Spring Newsletter 2024 click here