Active 360, a paddle boarding company based in west London, won in the “Sustainability Category” of the prestigious “Love your Arches” awards by TFL. The award was presented by the Mayor of Hounslow, Councillor Tony Louki, earlier this month. With Active 360 dubbed environmental heroes, the organisation was recognised for using Brentford Boating Arch on the Thames to pick plastics out of the river as part of their paddle boarding lessons.

Paul Hyman, Founder and Director of Active 360, believes the award can enhance awareness of protecting marine life along the River Thames. He said: “Thanks to TFL for recognising the work we are doing to help reduce plastic pollution at source and our engagement in the protection of marine environments. Freeing the Thames of plastic trash is a huge task, which needs engagement from many individuals and organisations to make a real and long-lasting change. This award increases awareness, which will hopefully come with more engagement from the community and businesses to push the changes needed forward.”

Established in 2007 by Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, the Boating Arch brought together “cusp of three boroughs”, St George West London, London Marathon, The Veolia Environmental Trust and Landfill Communities Fund to create a sporting hub that would connect with local schools, community groups and businesses. Now, in 2020, the Boating Arch offers a multitude of watersport activities for the local community including kayaking, paddle boarding and rowing.

Lee Doyle, Chief Executive of Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, said: “Congratulations to Active 360. We are working with dynamic and forward-thinking partners across the public, private and voluntary sectors  to open up the local waterways to the community. With the imminent opening of Brentford’s new stadium and adjacent community hub, we envisage more activities and initiatives to engage with our local communities."

TFL’s Love Your Arches awards highlights charities, businesses and social enterprises who make a tangible impact to their local area; “Arch Day” was on Saturday 29 August.