April 2024

Congratulations Robyn! The first recipient of our new environmental award

Our CEO awards the TRT Peter Spillett Award 2024 to South East Rivers Trust’s Education Officer.

TRT has recognised the importance of providing hands on river education for children in and by their local rivers; with the new Thames Rivers Trust Peter Spillett Award going to Robyn Shaw, Education & Engagement Officer at the South East Rivers Trust (SERT).
The award has been created by Thames Rivers Trust (TRT) to celebrate the late Peter Spillett, a Trustee for more than 10 years, who cared passionately about improving the Thames rivers and the wildlife that they sustain.
With rivers facing a breadth of challenges and many children having a disconnect with their local blue spaces SERT’s Project Kingfisher is supporting schools to bring curriculum topics such as rivers and local habitats to life and get students outdoors, connecting with their river and the many species of wildlife that require healthy rivers to survive.
TRT’s new CEO Miles Morgan presented Robyn with her award on Saturday at SERT’s launch of their latest river conservation project, the Chamber Mead wetlands in Ewell, which aims to reduce pollution entering the Hogsmill River and improve water quality. He said, ‘Robyn was nominated by a colleague for her passion and innovation and the positive impact she has made over the last year developing resources and working with schools, groups and families in London rivers. TRT is proud to give this special recognition and congratulate her hard work with students and families across four river catchments in South West London and Surrey.’
Over the 2022-23 SERT year, Robyn delivered an impressive 94 sessions to 42 schools, teaching 3,743 pupils in assemblies and outdoor sessions. These took place in places along the Hogsmill, Beverley Brook, Wandle and Mole rivers across Kingston, Wandsworth, Sutton, Ewell, Surrey and Merton.
Robyn said: ‘I am thrilled to win this award, which was totally unexpected. It is very special and humbling to be recognised in the name of someone who did so much for rivers and the Thames Rivers Trust. It means a great deal. I find our work with children and young people so rewarding, so it’s fantastic that other
people share the value of helping children understand the importance of rivers and connecting with nature.’
Peter’s family said, ‘We are thrilled to see the TRT Peter Spillett award being given to such a worthy recipient as Robyn. Peter was always a strong supporter of work to improve our rivers and promote wider understanding of their importance. He would be very proud that such work was being recognised in his name.’
SERT’s Co CEO Dr Bella Davies added, ‘We’re delighted that Robyn’s work has been recognised by the TRT Peter Spillett Award. During her time with us, she has really thrown herself into the education role at SERT, coming up with new ways to keep the children engrossed about the wonders of river life and leaving them wanting to know more.’
The annual award is now open for this year’s entries and is once again seeking nominations for an outstanding individual who works or volunteers with a Rivers Trust or another NGO delivering projects for the environmental good of rivers in the Thames River Basin.

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