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 localgiving.org/fundraising/anatoliy-daisy-charity-bike-ride/.


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Ward Budgets are back: £30,000 to spend on community projects in Charlton

Story telling at Big Red Bus Club Play Plus in Charlton
Story telling at Big Red Bus Club’s Play Plus scheme, which as benefited from ward budget funding previously

Greenwich Council’s ward budget scheme has reopened, with £30,000 available to each council ward over the next four years. The scheme is intended to fund community initiatives such as community and social schemes, environmental issues and well-being and health projects, with ideas being proposed by residents and community groups then approved by ward councillors.

Funds were made available to a range of schemes in the last round, including an air quality monitoring project, a campaign against cold callers, a primary school’s sensory garden, and the Charlton & Woolwich Free Film Festival – read more about the schemes funded in the last budget round here.

Annie Keys of the Big Red Bus Club, which has received funding for specialist play equipment for disabled children amongst other projects, told The Charlton Champion: Big Red Bus Club has been incredibly fortunate to be supported through Charlton’s ward budget scheme. It’s been great to help us try out new ideas and projects that local families have wanted to see happen in Charlton. A perfect example is Play Plus; £750 helped us to buy sensory play equipment for children who have additional needs.

That little bit of funding three years ago led to a whole programme of support for local SEND (Special Education Needs and Disabled) under-fives and their families. Now, Play Plus has three years of funding from Children in Need, for a specialist support worker, a programme of community arts and every Monday a whole day of targeted activities including Makaton story telling.

Our local Charlton councillors have also supported Large and Legging It our running group for women over 30BMI, and this year a new project aimed at families that could benefit from English as a Second Language (ESOL) support with their under fives. If any community groups want to come along and have a chat about how our projects have benefitted, we would be happy to share experiences. Get in touch by email at party [@] thebigredbusclub.com”

Greenwich Council says that Ward Budget funding should support initiatives that:

  • promote the well-being of the community and which are developed in response to local priorities and/or to meet a need identified from within the ward
  • look to provide additional funding where community groups are already making efforts to raise funds to support the project
  • are developed and monitored by local councillors, making use of their knowledge of local needs and priorities
  • have consensus across a ward or between wards
  • enhance the council’s community leadership role and promote civic pride.

If you have a project idea you think could be funded, contact your local ward councillor.

The Charlton Champion has been covering the ward budgets since they were launched in 2015read more of our ward budget stories here.

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Greenwich ward budgets are set to return – how much was spent in Charlton last time?

Charlton House front lawn from above
Ward budget funds were allocated to Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust for a laser survey of Charlton House’s grounds

Greenwich Council Ward Budget scheme is all set to return, leader Danny Thorpe announced last week. So we thought we’d take an overdue look at what was funded in Charlton ward during the last round.

Tweet from Danny Thorpe

The announcement came during last week’s full council meeting – watch it here.

Each ward in the borough was allocated a £30,000 budget to be spent on schemes proposed by the community and selected for funding by local councillors.

When we checked in on the schemes in July last year, only 22% of the £30,000 budget had been allocated.

So how does it look a year later?

PROJECT AMOUNT APPROVED (£) RECIPIENT HOW THE PROJECT WILL IMPROVE THE WELLBEING OF THE AREA AND BENEFIT THE LOCAL COMMUNITY DATE APPROVED
The Big Red Bus Club              950.00 The Big Red Bus Club To provide specialist play equipment for the Big Red Bus Club, Stay and Play service for disabled children in Charlton. 21/07/2016
Thorntree Community Garden                      500.00 Thorntree Primary School To provide gardening equipment, plants and shrubs to renovate a piece of land next to Thorntree Primary school as a community garden for the school children to plant and maintain. 21/07/2016
Valley Hill Hub – Air Pollution Monitors                      120.00 Valley Hill Hub To fund 10 air pollution monitors to install around the Valley Hill Hub area to monitor to measure air quality in the area and examine what affect the local topography may have on possibly trapping pollution. 11/4/2017
Charlton Hope Sale                   1,500.00 Charlton Hope Sale The funding will be used to promote the work of the outreach project and provide practical help sessions for children and families in need along with a summer celebration for the community. 28/04/2017
Guide Camps 2,940.50 7th Charlton Guides To support the cost of an annual residential trip for the 7th Charlton Guides and 1st Charlton Rangers. 6/7/2017
Cold Calling Campaign 740.00 Central Charlton Residents Association To support by the Central Charlton Neighbourhood to run a cold calling campaign targeting cold callers in the Charlton area. 31/08/2017
Charlton Society Events Programme 1,620.00 The Charlton Society To support an events programme on matters of local interest for the Charlton Community 31/08/2017
Cherry Orchard School – Sensory Garden Project  2,000.00 Cherry Orchard School To provide a timber framed canopy for the nursery outdoor play area to complete the works to the sensory space. 29/11/2017
Large and Legging It – Big Red Bus Club 2,425.00 Big Red Bus Club To support a health and fitness campaign in Charlton run by the Big Red Bus Club focussed at women struggling with weight issues. 29/11/2017
Charlton and Woolwich Free Film Festival 1,981.30 Charlton and Woolwich Free Film Festival To support a local volunteer film festival bringing communities together to enjoy films in various locations across SE7 and SE18. 22/01/2018
Thorntree Music Project  854.96 Thorntree School To purchase musical instruments for Thorntree Primary school both to expand the potential to learn new instruments and to support the provision of public performances to engage with the local community. 26/01/2018
Valley Hill Hub – Air Pollution Monitors  120.00 Valley Hill Hub To undertake a second air quality survey in the Charlton area during October 2018. 14/02/2018
Laser Survey on Charlton House Grounds 6,985.00 Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust To carry out a digital survey of the grounds within Charlton House to identify the historic features of the landscape which may be undiscovered during its changing development through its 400 year history 3/3/2018
Big Red Bus – ESOL Equipment and Resources  2,630.00 Big Red Bus Club To support the Big Red Bus Club in providing English language support to a diverse range of service users whose first language is not English. 2/2/2018
Greenwich Foodbank Van (£6k split between 14 Wards)  428.00 Greenwich Foodbank To support the purchase of van to facilitate the efficient transport of food collections around the borough. 6/5/2016
TOTAL   25,794.76

By our calculations that’s over 85% of the budget allocated by the time the funding round closed.

Many thanks to the Positive Plumstead Project for passing on the cross-borough list of approved applications. We hope that the next round will be easier to follow: we suggest a page per ward on Greenwich Council’s website would allow residents to keep up with what’s been approved through the year.

We hope to bring more information on the next scheme following July’s Cabinet meeting.

PS. if anyone would like to go through the numbers for the wards adjacent to Charlton (Woolwich Riverside, Peninsula, Kidbrooke with Hornfair), we’d love to add them – get in touch!

The Charlton Champion provides news and information about issues and events in London SE7.
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