It has been a very busy Autumn term for Colette Mooney, our Head of Education.

The Freshwater Friends appeal, launched earlier in the year, has enabled her to deliver sessions to over 950 children in schools across the Wye and Usk catchments. These have included Reception-aged children (4-5 years) all the way through to Year 9 students (13-14 years). The settings have varied too, from rural schools to ones in city/town centres.

Sharing our passion for rivers with so many children, all singing the salmon life cycle song, has been extA picture is worth a thousand words. Nothing can beat the beaming faces of young children as they try to leap as high as a salmon or as they send our mascot, Sioni the salmon, soaring! remely rewarding. Their enjoyment and enthusiastic participation in the activities, together with the teachers has been evident in the schools' social media posts.

The formal feedback from those we have worked with reflects the importance of the Foundation’s second charitable object. Teachers have commented on how much they too have learnt about their local river environment and our iconic Atlantic salmon.

Here's what some of them said:

“Thanks for helping Year 5 learn all about the salmon and the river Usk. We had a fantastic time.”

“I have lived in Newport all my life and never knew anything about the amazing fish in there.”

“Thank you so much for a fascinating day. Years 2 and 3 had an amazing time and learned so much about the super salmon.”

“Reception had such a fun time learning all about the life cycle of the salmon with the brilliant Wye and Usk Foundation.”

“The children and staff really enjoyed getting outdoors and learning about our river in fun, engaging ways.”

“What an amazing morning learning about the river and salmon!”

We are extremely grateful to the numerous individuals who have so generously donated to the appeal, all of whom are listed on the appeal page.

We have also been fortunate to have been supported by some charitable trusts, namely Harrison Clarke Rickerbys Charitable Trust, the D S Smith Charitable Foundation and the VCT Charitable Trust.

The appeal has raised just over £9,000 so far although we have been promised another £6,000 in donations from two more charitable trusts. These will take us past our original £15,000 target.

It cannot be stressed enough how important this support is, both for improving the lives of hundreds of youngsters and for the future of the rivers. We want to keep going, to extend the programme to as many schoolchildren as we possibly can. Please help Colette do this by continuing to support the Freshwater Friends appeal!

In the meantime, our thanks again to everyone who has supported Freshwater Friends, both financially and through spreading the word via social media and word of mouth.

Support the Freshwater Friends Appeal