Project Stories

Waterway wellbeing day

Everything feels better when you’re messing around by the river.

Studies show that being near water has excellent benefits for mental health. With the Kennet and the Thames flowing through Reading, we spotted a fantastic opportunity to reunite communities separated by lockdown with a family Waterway Wellbeing Day.

Although many of us were lucky to have discovered parks, woodlands and waterways during the Covid-19 pandemic, the reality of lockdown meant many families were spending more time indoors than ever before. As the pandemic eased, we were keen to reignite their connection with nature and what better place than the underused waterways of Reading?

Ahoy, there ‘me hearty!

Funded by Thames Water Community Fund, and in partnership with Reading Green Wellbeing Network, our event combined creative arts and conservation as our trio of pirates encouraged visitors to enter quests to explore the biodiversity of the Thames. We provided river-inspired arts and crafts activities, singalongs with a local musician, mindfulness nature immersion, litter picking, and Waterway Bingo! And Thames Water used the day to promote sustainable water usage in the home.

Change comes when you work together.

We were lucky to be joined on the day by local naturalist Adrian Lawson, yoga teacher Alice McGuigan, sculptor Andrew Hood, therapeutic artist Lisa-Marie Gibbs and eco-clown, Teresa Verney-Brookes.. And, thanks to our partnership withthe Reading Green Wellbeing Network, something we are very proud of, we were also joined by a large spectrum of local providers who deliver Green Social care and nature-based interventions in and around the city.

These included:

  • Food4families
  • The Museum of English Rural Life
  • The Ridgeline Trust
  • The Conservation Volunteers
  • Green Health Thames Valley
  • Thames Water