Transport for London and the London Marathon Foundation have awarded more than £575,000 of funding to 78 new projects and 69 continuing projects run by community groups, as part of the Walking and Cycling Grants London (WCGL) programme.
It says each investment will make a real difference to communities across the capital, allowing organisations to deliver projects and programmes to enable more people to enjoy the benefits of active travel. More than £198,000 of the funding has been awarded for 69 existing projects to continue their work in the community.
WCGL aims to encourage more people to walk and cycle, aiming to break down the barriers that prevent people from getting active and helping to make London a more sustainable, inclusive, and healthy city. All projects give people the chance to connect with their local communities, learn new skills, get active and improve their physical and mental health.
The successful projects target a wide range of traditionally underrepresented groups. These include disabled people, those from minority ethnic backgrounds, those who are disadvantaged (which includes issues such as low-income, lack of outside space nearby and home living space, those in receipt of benefits, free school meals and other social issues), homeless people, refugees, asylum seekers and those part of the LGBTQ+ community. The projects aim to enable participants to feel confident while walking and cycling in London. Funding has been awarded to schemes covering all 32 boroughs and the City of London.
New projects awarded funding this year include:
Wellbeing Walkabouts – Express Tuition Ltd, Enfield - Walking project aiming to support ethnic minorities and disadvantaged women by delivering weekly guided walks to improve their physical, mental, and social wellbeing
Silver Walking and Cycling fun and fitness – Silverfit, Richmond – Guided walking and Nordic walking sessions for older people within three local parks in Richmond. The group also holds sessions for indoor and outdoor cycling
Hummingbird Walking Group – Hummingbird Senior Citizens Club, Lewisham - Project aiming to support the disadvantaged, ethnic minorities and people over 60. The project will empower older adults from Caribbean communities to improve their mental wellbeing by making walking more accessible and creating opportunities for social interaction to reduce social isolation
Sustainable Sanctuaries – Faiths Forum for London, Brent, Camden, City of Westminster, Harrow, Newham, Waltham Forest – The Cycle to Worship project promotes environmental sustainability within places of worship while encouraging cycling participation in underrepresented groups across London
Deaf Cycling – Empowering Deaf Society, Newham and Redbridge - Cycling aiming to support deaf people to take part in cycle training sessions, group cycles and excursions with a BSL interpreter
Black Men Walking – Social Inclusion Recovery Group, Bromley, Croydon, Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark - Walking project supporting Black African and Caribbean Men aged 35-80 to walk, meet others and talk in a safe space about personal, physical health, mental health and wellbeing issues.
Bike Dykes – Bike Dykes, Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham – Cycling aiming to support the LGBTQ+ community, women, trans and non-binary people to access and increase confidence in cycling. Activities include guided bike rides, bike maintenance and a celebration event
Brent Health Walks – Ashford Place, Brent - Walking project aiming to support ethnic minorities, disadvantaged, disability groups and those with long term illnesses to improve mental and physical wellbeing
Somali Senior Citizens Walking and Cycling club – Somali Senior Citizens Club, Tower Hamlets - Walking and cycling to support 40 members of elderly Somali residents of the borough to increase confidence and lessen isolation amongst the ‘younger older people’ group. Activities include cycle skills training, art sessions, park and museum visits
The scheme is jointly funded in partnership with The London Marathon Foundation and is part of a five-year programme to inspire Londoners to cycle and walk, with many health benefits for people and communities. Walking and cycling can have a range of benefits for people’s mental and physical health, including an improved mood, feeling more alert and enjoying discovering new parts of London. Since it began, TfL’s Walking and Cycling Grants London programme has supported 339 projects across the London boroughs. This has encouraged more than 77,000 participants across London to walk and cycle.
(Picture – TfL)