Tuesday 3rd December, 2019

Thanks to the generosity of numerous individuals, schools and charitable trusts, this week our Freshwater Friends appeal successfully reached its target.

Launched on the banks of the Usk in August, the appeal set about raising £15,000 to enable us to extend our educational programme to 3,000 more local schoolchildren. Our mission is to teach the next generation of the importance of their local aquatic environments, for both the children’s and rivers’ benefit.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to everyone who has supported the Freshwater Friends appeal and this area of our work. Thanks to you, Colette Mooney, our Head of Education, can now set about delivering the programme.

A 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! She has already made a good start.

Colette has had a very busy autumn term, delivering 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 extremely rewarding. Their enjoyment and enthusiastic participation in the activities, together with the teachers has been evident in the schools' social media posts.

This feedback 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, helping us achieve our goal. The supporters, including their messages, are shown 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, the VCT Charitable Trust and The Worshipful Company of Founders.

Schools that Colette has visited have also donated back to the appeal, including Undy and Thornwell Primary Schools. 

The appeal has raised just over £16,000 so far. It cannot be stressed enough how important this 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