After a successful and exciting six months, there is real evidence that RideLondon is encouraging Essex residents to move more. From mother and daughter bootcamps and boxing sessions, to Skate Jam events and inclusive cycling initiatives, over 140 new physical activity sessions across Essex, are now taking place, as a result of RideLondon-Essex in May 2022, providing substantial impact within local communities.
The RideLondon-Essex cycling event, which took place in May 2022 in conjunction with Essex County Council, has led to a million-pound funding partnership. 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.
Successful applications of projects along the RideLondon-Essex route, through Find Your Active small grants funding, have included an over 60’s Bangladeshi Women’s fitness class; Making it Mindful, Braintree-based inclusive family dance group; the Rock Hub in Basildon delivering a climbing programme for young people at risk of exclusion or who have personal barriers to participate in physical activity; and Epping group Fit4All, who aim to introduce older residents to a range of activities such as circuit training, core stability, light weight training and aerobics to improve participants’ strength and balance.
In addition to the small grants programme, another key focus for the LMF and Active Essex funding partnership, has been to support over 70 schools to design an active travel plan, whilst more than 30 projects have secured funding to implement further physical activity opportunities for pupils and their families to travel actively. Project such as bike loan schemes, scooter safety training, bike shelters, walking busses and bike sessions for the whole family to utilise will help encourage young people and their families to become more physical activity and adopt sustainable travel habits. Schools who have secured this vital support will provide physical activity opportunities to more pupils and continue to work towards the Essex climate change agenda.
Furthermore, special needs schools Harlow Fields and Columbus in Chelmsford have accessed the inclusive cycling funding, to deliver taster days by established organisations Trailnet and Wheels4All. Funding is also enabling the expansion of community cycling initiative Essex Pedal Power into 3 new locations, which is a free bike loan scheme, supporting residents to travel actively as well as increase access to employment, education and key local services in the county’s most disadvantaged areas.
Catherine Anderson, Executive Director at the London Marathon Foundation, said: “It’s inspiring to see such a wide range of funded projects and initiatives taking place, with communities along both the RideLondon-Essex route and across the county benefitting from our funding. By partnering with Active Essex, we’re able to support those who need the most help to be active, so many more people can lead active and healthy lives.”
Cllr Lee Scott, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Highways Maintenance and Sustainable Transport added: “The tremendous benefits of bringing RideLondon to Essex is now clear to see. Not only is this funding providing vital support to cycling initiatives across the county, but we recognise the many ways residents wish to get moving, and this funding has helped groups who are encouraging people from all walks of life to engage in physical activity, however it suits them.”
To find out more about Find Your Active, and the Find Your Active Small Grants fund, visit the page here.