11-13 year-olds: Make music and get active with The Big Red Bus Club this summer

power up flyer

Charlton’s Big Red Bus Club has been busy branching out recently – its latest venture is into summer sessions to help 11 to 13-year-olds rebuild their confidence through music and fun after a shattering 16 months. The club’s ANNIE DREWRY explains more…

March 16, 2020 was, for many children, simply the day the music died. For those kids that didn’t already have instruments at home or access to private online lessons, music simply disappeared.

In Charlton, like the rest of the country, music education not only came to an abrupt halt. Not just the lessons ending, but the community music programmes such as the after-school drumming clubs or choirs that were as much about friendship as they were the performances that resulted from them.

For your average 11-year-old, the summer is full of music. It’s when you head down to Primark to pick up your outfit for your final primary school disco, or the nervous excitement waiting to find out if you’ve got a song in your final school play. It’s endless practising for your final year assemblies, and the sharing of playlists among friends – the friends that you will leave as a memory of your childhood as you move to secondary school and make the friends that will see you become an adult.

The Big Red Bus Club has always believed in the power of the arts to build our community in Charlton, whether it be two toddlers sharing finger-painting or the mums in our Baby Blues Choir raising awareness of maternal mental health through performance. We know friendships are built when we create together.

So this summer, we are putting on two free programmes for Charlton’s 11-13 year olds.

Pump it Up, a week-long series of music workshops culminating in kids creating their own track and recording it, and Power Up, a whole week of activities ranging from pottery to engineering activities specifically for girls.

Last year was hard. At the Big Red Bus Club we want to bring the music back into kids’ lives, help them make local friends and to hang out and just be kids again.

You can help by letting local kids know that we are here.

Pump It Up: Monday 26 to Friday 30 July, 11-4pm, music workshops including singing, percussion and composition with a whole range of local artists.

Power Up (girls only): Monday 2 to Friday 6 August, 10-3pm, wellbeing workshops including pottery, yoga, engineering and a day trip.

To book for either free programme, visit thebigredbusclub.com/summerschemes.


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Lidofest: Charlton Lido to host Britain’s first festival in a lido

Charlton Lido
Lidofest will take over Charlton Lido on 21 August

Charlton Lido is to play host to what its organisers say will be Britain’s first festival in a lido next month – promising mermaid displays and synchronised swimming demos as well as fancy dress competitions and swim races.

Lidofest, to take place on Saturday 21 August, will also offer free swimming classes for ticket holders as well as DJs and a guest appearance from Alice Dearing, who will be representing Team GB in the marathon swimming race at the Tokyo Olympics.

Clare Ruby, who came up with the idea, said it came to her while doing lengths at the lido one morning. “The lido is such a great space but a lot of swimming events are about doing competitive challenges and I felt a need for something that celebrates all the fun stuff you can do in the water as well as those events,” she said.

“Charlton is perfect for this as it has the main 50-metre heated pool, a splash pool for the kids, terraces for viewing and lots of space for activities. Swimming outdoors at a lido always feels special and it is great to see so many of these beautiful outdoor pools having a resurgence and getting the love they deserve.”

Clare and her Lidofest co-creator Sophie Morgan – who run Swimadelica, an online gift shop for swimmers – say the swimming sessions are part of their ambition to make the activity accessible to all. “We believe swimming is for everyone regardless of your age, ability, race, gender or body shape,” she said.

“There’s something for everyone, from fancy dress competitions, festival glitter face painting, book readings, inflatable races, masters swim coaching, mermaid swimming lessons, synchro displays, swimming with professional mermaids – all for both adults and children.”

10 per cent of profits from the event will go to the Black Swimming Association, which aims to improve diversity in aquatics, and Level Water, which provides one-to-one swimming lessons for children with disabilities; a pay-it-forward option will give ticket-buyers the chance to buy a ticket for someone who would otherwise be unable to attend.

Tickets start at £30 for adults and £5 for children and are available via Eventbrite. For more details, visit lidofest.com.


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We tell the SE7 stories you won’t read elsewhere. And we’ll do the others better than anyone else. We can’t do it without your help.
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Follow central Charlton’s arts, crafts and jumble trail this Saturday

Maps will be available at St Richard’s church hall on Saturday

This Saturday the Charlton Central Residents’ Association is holding an arts, crafts and jumble sale in its network of streets close to Charlton station from 2pm-5pm on Saturday.

Local residents will have stalls in their front garden selling art, crafts, bric-a-brac, clothes, plants, toys, food, books, furniture, kitchen utensils, teapots and more.

To find out which houses to visit to follow the trail, visit the special stall that will be set up outside St Richard’s church hall on Swallowfield Road from 2pm on Saturday – or see the map below (click to enlarge)…

There’s more information about what to expect on the group’s Facebook page.


PLEASE SUPPORT THE CHARLTON CHAMPION

We tell the SE7 stories you won’t read elsewhere. And we’ll do the others better than anyone else. We can’t do it without your help.
– Please tell us about your news and events
– Become a monthly supporter at presspatron.com/charltonchampion
– Donate to our running costs at paypal.me/charltonchampion