Adapted cycles for an inclusive cycling charity, and accessible floodlit netball courts for the local community in Croydon, feature amongst the facilities and equipment provided by new funding from The London Marathon Charitable Trust.
The Trust this week announced new grants totalling £603,800 to improve facilities that will enable thousands of people in London and Surrey to participate in physical activity. It has now awarded more than £89million since it was founded in 1981.
Many of the facilities awarded funding in this latest round of grants provide opportunities to participate in outdoor activities, which are of heightened relevance given the impact the current Coronavirus pandemic is having on physical activity provision.
Sir Rodney Walker, Chairman of The Trust, said: “During these difficult and troubling times for us all, physical activity has never been so important. Not just for our physical health, but for our mental health, too. We are proud of the work we do to provide funds to encourage activity and this latest round of grants will enable more communities to enjoy physical activity.”
Amongst the 12 organisations benefitting from The Trust’s Facilities Grants Programme is Wheels for Wellbeing, which has received £20,000 to purchase adapted cycles and the additional equipment needed to hold inclusive cycling sessions in Croydon for people of all ages and abilities.
The charity’s director Isabelle Clement said: “Wheels for Wellbeing is extremely grateful to have been awarded a grant which will enable us to welcome more participants, in particular people who cannot transfer out of their wheelchairs or who need the support of someone else in order to feel the wind in their hair.
“Ultimately, this grant means that more disabled people in South London will be able experience the joy of cycling.”
Folio Education Trust has received £150,000 towards two floodlit outdoor netball courts in an accessible sports and community facility at the new Coombe Wood School in South Croydon.
The community facility will support an increase in female pupils participating in netball, and the school will work with local clubs to support community activity programmes encouraging more women and girls to become and remain physically active through playing netball.
Its CEO Jonathan Wilden said: "We are thrilled that The London Marathon Charitable Trust has chosen to support our new school build, Coombe Wood School.
“The funding of two new netball courts will not only provide outstanding facilities for our students but working with Roundwood Netball Club we will be able to raise participation of netball in the local community for all ages and abilities.”
Other investments include £100,000 to Addlestone Canoe Club towards a new building and headquarters for the club in Surrey which will include modern and accessible changing facilities, enabling existing programmes to be extended so more people, including under-represented groups, can participate in paddling and canoeing opportunities all year round.
Carol Reeves, Chairperson at the club, said: "Addlestone Canoe Club is delighted The London Marathon Charitable Trust has been able to support our project, enabling us to engage more participants in Paddlesport activities, with an emphasis of a fun, healthy, active lifestyle for all. This grant will secure the future of the club and its community outreach for many years to come."
The Mary Ward Settlement will receive £147,000 towards a dedicated teaching room for fitness activities and a flexible dance/performance space at Queensway House in Stratford. The large, fully accessible spaces will enable an increase in the number and range of classes to encourage people from the local community, particularly those from under-represented groups including women and girls, BAME groups, disabled people, the over 60s and people with long term health conditions, to take part in dance and movement classes and become physically active.
This round of funding was awarded in early March. Since then, the uncertainty brought about by Covid-19 has meant The Trust has made the difficult decision to not accept any new applications to the Facilities Grants Programme for the time being. This is a temporary measure and it is hoped the programme will be re-open again to new applications soon. For further details visit lmct.org.uk which will be updated regularly with any new information.
Pic credit: Wheels for Wellbeing.