Big Red Bus Club wins grant to keep lockdown storytelling sessions running

Big Red Bus Club, Charlton
The doors are closed but the storytelling goes on

Charlton Park’s Big Red Bus Club has been given a grant to help it keep its volunteer programme running for another year – including its online storytelling sessions for families stuck at home during lockdown.

The charity, which runs the under-fives’ play centre off Cemetery Lane, was awarded £6,825 from the housing association L&Q’s Place Makers Fund.

Since the coronavirus emergency began, its volunteers have been running daily live storytelling online for local families with a range of activities and songs. These run every weekday at 1.30pm.

The club also offers career development support for its volunteers, aiming to support those kept out of the workplace through being a parent.

Its chief executive, Annie Drewry, said: “Big Red Bus Club and the families we support are facing uncertain times. L&Q support means we can carry on and keep supporting families and children so they don’t feel so alone and isolated even though they are living in isolation. We urge local families across Greenwich to join our online community of activities that L&Q support has kept alive.”


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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 asda.com/children-in-need.


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