Last updated: 28 April 2023
Next review: 16 March 2024
Community Walking and Cycling Fund
As part of the Enjoy Waltham Forest programme, in 2019 Waltham Forest Council launched a fund for local community projects that aim to encourage residents to be more active. The aim of the fund is to develop and support the work of community groups to reach more residents than the Council would ordinarily be able to and to ensure as many people as possible enjoy the benefits of walking and cycling.
After four successful rounds of projects which saw over 2,500 more residents walking and cycling across the borough, we are delighted to announce the nine unique projects that have been selected to offer a range of free, active, and social activities between May and October this year.
The new and existing projects look to build stronger communities, promote sustainable transport options, and support healthier lifestyles among our residents, alongside helping to tackle social isolation and loneliness.
We are delighted to announce the recipients of this year’s Community Walking and Cycle Fund!
- Age UK Waltham Forest - Learn to ride cycling courses for those aged 60 and over
- JP Fix and Ride - Dr Bike ‘DIY’ Cycle Maintenance courses
- Everyone on Boards - Skateboarding lessons for children in various skate parks around the borough
- CarryMe Bikes CIC - Family cycling advice and equipment lending libraries at Lea Bridge Library
- JoyRiders Britain CIC - The ‘Big Family Cycling Summer’ (Learn to ride cycling and led rides for families)
- Life after Cancer - Walking support group for adults recovering from cancer
- Cann Hall Women’s Foundation - The Walking Project (walking groups in Cann Hall ward)
- Cycle Sisters - Group cycle rides
- Salaam Peace - Walking groups and group cycle rides
A summary of the 11 projects awarded funding in 2022 can be found below:
Age UK Waltham Forest: 60+ Cycling
Age UK Waltham Forest hosted six cycling courses for older people in Chingford, Walthamstow and Leyton. Depending on the participant's level of ability, they could join either a ‘learn to ride’ (level 1) or ‘confidence building’ (level 2) course. The learn to ride course aims to take participants from being unable to ride to balancing and pedalling comfortably. The confidence builder course aims to enable those who can already cycle to feel more confident in cycling independently, using gears and cycling on the highway. Both courses are also designed to provide an opportunity for older adults to develop their social networks and exercise simultaneously and ultimately aid their health and well-being.
Bikeworks CIC: Cycling for Wellbeing programme
Bikeworks and Waltham Forest Council believe that cycling should be accessible and possible for everyone, regardless of age, ability, or experience. Whilst the Council already supports the provision of Bikeworks’ offer in Waltham Forest through funding bi-weekly ‘All Ability Cycling Clubs’ and housing the DfT ‘Tackling Loneliness with Transport’ funded Ride Side-by-Side cycle taxi service, the CW&CF enabled Bikeworks to expand their offer and host two Cycling for Wellbeing programmes consisting of five sessions each.
The programme is a free, inclusive cycling programme designed to address the needs of people experiencing a wide range of health issues and/or social exclusion by building cycling skills, confidence and peer support. The programme is designed around the NHS 5 Steps to Wellbeing (connecting with other people, being active, learning new skills, giving to others, mindfulness) and each week of the courses focused on one of the steps in more detail.
JP Fix and Ride: Cycle Maintenance courses
JP, a cycle mechanic of over ten years has established a community cycle workshop, equipping residents with the skills to service and maintain their own bikes and empowering some to even become cycle mechanics themselves. Sessions will run from September to December 2022.
CarryMe Bikes CIC: Helping families and organisations find cycling solutions
CarryMe Bikes help families and organisations find cycling solutions at workshops and events across the borough and aid them to transition from motor vehicle to cycle for more or all of their journeys.
JoyRiders Britain CIC: ‘RIDE!’ Project. Learn to Ride and Cycle Skills Bikeability training for families
JoyRiders have conducted intensive outreach and cycle training in Waltham Forest from April-August 2022, with the CW&CF funding an additional month of the offer throughout September 2022. The sessions were aimed at families and individuals with a goal to take them from 'beginners' to competent and confident riders, enabling them to participate in led rides on the highway and eventually cycle independently.
The Hornbeam: ‘Living Well’ Project
The Living Well Project is a wellbeing programme designed to support participants to develop a ‘Living Well’ plan based around the NHS ‘5 Steps to Mental Wellbeing’.
The Hornbeam are an inclusive and people-focused organisation that hosts several unique projects promoting equity, mindfulness, social inclusion and sustainability. The Living Well project consists of two six-week long wellbeing programmes, designed to reach Waltham Forest residents who experience mental health issues, particularly social anxiety and depression, both of which can contribute to isolation and physical inactivity. Through the course, participants are supported to develop a personal Living Well plan, which includes goal setting around being more active, giving back to the community and learning new skills.
St Mary’s Church, Walthamstow: Creating an active travel corridor for all to enjoy
St Mary’s Church has been successful in securing funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to restore their Grade II listed building, named the ‘Creative Church’ regeneration project. As part of the wider project, the CW&CF is supporting their vision to create an active travel corridor through the installation of cycle parking infrastructure and benches to create a space for all to enjoy.
Waltham Forest Tamil Sangam: Teaching cycling skills and hosting health and wellbeing workshops
Waltham Forest Tamil Sangam is a community group oriented towards the Sri Lankan diaspora within the London borough of Waltham Forest. A primary component of the group is their community-based Tamil school every Saturday where the Tamil language, fine arts and cultural traditions are taught to children aged 5-18 in and around Waltham Forest. Their CW&CF project is aimed at 16 to 18 year olds and adults of all ages to raise awareness of the health issues typically found within the Tamil Sangam community and how the health and well-being benefits of walking and cycling can help to tackle them. As part of their project, they will train ‘Cycling Champions’ who will lead and help train others in cycling skills, host wellbeing walks in local green spaces and host two workshops focusing on health and wellbeing, with professionals present to provide expert advice on mental and physical health.
Walk and Talk For Your Life: A social exercise and health coaching course
Walk and Talk for Your Life is a social exercise and health coaching course designed to improve the mental and physical health of middle-aged and older adults. Through participation, participants will increase their fitness level, strength, and balance while also meeting similar aged adults who live in London and benefit from peer support. Classes are hosted online via Zoom from Monday to Thursday and held in person on Fridays at Higham Hill Hub. Sessions combine strength, balance, and bodyweight exercises with socialising and group discussions on health topics such as nutrition, exercise, stress, and sleep.
Cann Hall Women’s Foundation: The Walking Project
Cann Hall Women’s Foundation is a local community group with the founding mission to improve the lives of residents in Cann Hall ward by making their daily experience that bit easier, freer, cleaner and more dignified. Using CW&CF funding, The Walking Project has been established, a network of community walking and discussion groups for women to build peer support and combat social isolation.
Cycle Sisters: Cycling Skills
Cycle Sisters’ aim is to make cycling more accessible for Muslim women and teen girls in Waltham Forest. They offer free Bikeability one-to-one or small group cycle skills training with female instructors to develop cycling skills and confidence whilst cycling on the highway. Using CW&CF funding, they aim to run approximately 20 led-rides from Leyton Jubilee Park and Lloyd Park on Wednesdays and Saturdays from August to December 2022.