Coronavirus in Charlton: Log on for Big Red Bus Club’s online storytelling sessions

The Big Red Bus Club next to Charlton Park has had to close its doors because of the Covid-19 outbreak – ending its stay-and-play sessions for under-fives.

But yesterday it began storytelling sessions online, so you can keep the little ones entertained.

“Join the Big Red Bus team online at 1.30pm every week day for songs & stories and to share our best stay at home activities, as we experiment with going online.

“Our first story Peace at Last, read by Annie, follows poor old Daddy Bear and his nocturnal adventure trying to get some sleep in the noisest house in the world!”

Charlton’s flat-dwellers might be able to identify with that.

Daddy Bear’s adventures were yesterday’s story, so there’ll be something new today – head over to The Big Red Bus Club website to find out how to take part.

If you’re doing something special to help local communities get through the Covid-19 crisis, drop us an email and we’ll try to feature it on the site.

Made in Chelsea star visits Big Red Bus Club for BBC’s Children in Need

Binky Felstead joined in storytelling activities

Made in Chelsea star Binky Felstead has visited The Big Red Bus Club in Charlton Park to launch a campaign ahead of the BBC’s annual Children In Need appeal.

Children In Need funds the club’s Play Plus project, which allows parents and children under five with special educational needs to take part in music and art activities.

Felstead joined in with storytelling and sensory play to launch the Power of Play campaign, which aims to help children in every community in the UK have somewhere safe to play so they can develop their skills.

She said: “I had such a fantastic time at the project. It was brilliant to meet with the project workers, the parents and their children and to see how much they enjoyed the play activities was incredibly special.”

The Power of Play campaign is being held with Asda, where customers will be able to pick up free “play passes” which children will be able to ‘’trade in” with an adult for 30 minutes of play. Each of the play passes offers a different play activity, and will help children to learn a variety of life skills, such as teamwork, patience and resilience, that will aid their development.

Steph Brett-Lee, Asda’s senior director of community and corporate affairs, said: “At Asda we are so pleased that our Power of Play campaign with BBC Children in Need will help to provide even more play opportunities, just like this one, across the UK.

“It’s fantastic to see how the money raised helps support groups like the Big Red Bus Club to fund their Play Plus project which gives children a place where they can enjoy inclusive play activities and make new friends. It’s clear to see how much that this is valued and enjoyed by the children and their parents.”

This year’s Children In Need appeal is on Friday 15 November; shoppers can find out more about Power of Play at


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Hill-climbing kids complete 100km cycling challenge for Big Red Bus Club

Daisy and Anatoliy
Would you cycle up Frances Street after riding through Kent and Essex? Daisy and Anatoliy did

Two local 12-year-olds cycled 100 kilometres through London, Kent and Essex at the weekend to raise money for The Big Red Bus Club, the family wellbeing charity based in Charlton Park.

Daisy and Anatoliy, who met as three-year olds at one of the club’s free family stay and play sessions, cycled solidly for almost eight hours – and were inspired to take on the challenge after supporting adult cyclists who have completed the same charity ride in previous years.

They cycled for eight hours on Saturday, beginning and ending at the Big Red Bus Club, including the hills and crossing the river at the Woolwich and Tilbury ferries. Daisy and Anatoliy are trying to raise £1,750 for the charity.

Daisy and Anatoliy both almost a decade ago and were inspired to take on the mammoth cycle challenge after supporting the adult cyclists who have completed this charity ride in previous years.

Daisy and Anatoliy on the ferry

Daisy said: “The best moment was the feeling of getting up Frances Street, the very last hill, and knowing at the top I was going onto the home stretch and I was going to do it. The worst moments were going up hills when I got a feeling in my legs that I couldn’t keep going, but I am so happy that I kept on and competed the whole ride.

“The Big Red Bus Club has been a part of my life since I was so little, I love walking past and seeing the new little children playing.”

Anatoliy said: “The best bit of the day was at 20 miles sitting down and having a hot chocolate on the Tilbury ferry. I can’t wait for next year.”

The Big Red Bus Club is open weekday afternoons for free stay-and-play for under-fives, run by volunteers.

To donate to Daisy and Anatoliy’s appeal, visit


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