Active Essex’s partnership with London Marathon Foundation (LMF), has seen over 15,000 residents get active as a result of their funding following RideLondon-Essex 2022.
One million pounds has been injected into Essex to inspire activity, thanks to last year’s RideLondon-Essex event. Over 200 initiatives, sessions and programmes have been set up as a result to encourage residents to find the activity that’s right for them, with lots of this provision taking place for residents along the RideLondon-Essex 2022 route. However, LMF funding has helped inspire activity at every corner of Essex, increasing activity levels for better physical and mental wellbeing, and strengthening communities by harnessing the power of physical activity.
London Marathon Foundation (LMF) is the parent charity of London Marathon Events (LME), the organisers of RideLondon. All surplus from events organised by LME is gifted to LMF, who in turn provide grants to projects that inspire activity.
85% of successful applications to the small grants programme, which has been powered by LMF are supporting communities through the cost-of-living crisis, offering warm spaces and refreshments as part of their activity offer. Meanwhile, 33 projects are helping encourage older residents to get moving for increased mobility and helping to prevent further strains on the NHS. 69 projects are helping provide the opportunity for children and young people to get active, giving them a healthier start to life.
One of the projects supporting young people through the small grants programme, is the Dennis and Dyer Boxing Academy in Epping. Along last year’s RideLondon-Essex route, Founder Mark Dennis, can see the many benefits of the county holding this event, he added: “This funding has allowed us to get more kids engaged with boxing, more kids off consoles, and we’ve seen a rapid amount of interest in these new sessions. Boxing is like the most kept secret that it’s great for you mentally and physically, and it gives participants an amazing amount of confidence.”
Speaking to participant Epping participant, Lenny from Dennis and Dyer Boxing Academy, to understand how this new provision has benefited him, he added: “I was struggling with everyday things in school, like staying out of trouble, but with the boxing club, it’s helped me stay disciplined and helped me improve my life.”
In addition, over 30 schools have been able to access funding to increase active travel initiatives and 70 schools have been supported to introduce active travel plans. Not only will this help to reduce the number of cars on the road around schools, but to create positive relationships between physical activity and academic performance for their pupils. The Uttlesford School Sports Partnership has utilised their funding to hold several scooter workshops to teach pupils how to scoot safely, rules of the road and to educate the importance of physical activity for young people.
Similarly, Active Essex have been able to introduce increased inclusive cycling opportunities across the county with 32 children, living with special educational needs and disabilities, being engaged at a Trailnet session which took place at Harlow Fields school. In addition, support was provided to Wheels4All to deliver sessions at Edith Borthwick School, and to expand the already successful Local Delivery Pilot Essex Pedal Power programme across other areas in Essex.
Catherine Anderson, Executive Director of the London Marathon Foundation, said: “Our mission is to Inspire Activity, and we’re absolutely thrilled we’ve been able to help thousands of people of all ages and abilities to be more active through our funding partnership with Active Essex.
“Thanks to the 2022 RideLondon-Essex cycling event, within the past year our funding has supported a wide range of projects that are mindful of the realities of the cost-of-living crisis, making a difference to people’s lives and helping communities across the county to be more active all year round.”
To view some of the groups that have received funding, and hear about the impact this has had on communities, take a look at our video playlist here.