Transport for London and the London Marathon Charitable Trust have awarded more than £416,000 of funding to 87 new projects run by community and not-for-profit groups, as part of the London Walking and Cycling Grants programme.
The funding is the highest ever awarded through the programme, with a record number of groups set to benefit. TfL says this investment will make a real difference to communities across the capital, allowing organisations to deliver projects and programmes so that more people enjoy the benefits of active travel. More than £118,000 has also been awarded for 60 existing projects to continue their work in the community.
Walking and Cycling Grants London aims to encourage more people to walk and cycle, addressing the barriers that prevent people from getting active and helping to make London a more sustainable, inclusive, and healthy city. All projects give participants the chance to connect with their local communities, learn new skills, get active and improve their physical and mental health. Active travel has boomed in the capital since the pandemic, and the programme will help even more people to make the most of walking and cycling.
The successful projects target a wide range of traditionally underrepresented groups such as people with disabilities, from minority ethnic backgrounds, homeless people, refugees, and asylum seekers, enabling them to feel confident while walking and cycling in London. Funding has been awarded to schemes covering 31 boroughs and the City of London.
New projects awarded funding this year include:
- Black, Asian and minority ethnic Group Walk and Talk – Therapy4 Healing, Croydon, Greenwich, Lewisham, and Southwark – Fortnightly walks that support people from ethnic minorities, women, refugees and asylum seekers to improve physical and mental health and encourage social integration. There will also be walks to help people learn English for speakers and talks for asylum seekers and refugees.
- DeafClub.London – ELREM Foundation, Newham – Deaf people will have the opportunity to gain skills and confidence in cycling and walking in deaf-led walking and cycling sessions
- UpCycling – Young Lewisham Project – Weekly bike maintenance sessions, group rides in half term and fitness sessions for young people not in education, employment or training and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds
- Girls Do Tours – Heritage in Havering- The NO Collective, Havering – Walking tours for people over the age of 60 and those living with disabilities, enabling them to get active, meet other people and learn about local history
- Build Your Ride – Hammersmith and Fulham Cycling, Hammersmith and Fulham – Cycling and bike maintenance for women, ethnic minority groups and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Activities will include Saturday and Sunday organised bike rides, as well as build a bike workshops that will allow people to build their own bikes
- Aspirational walks – Unseen Tours, central and inner London boroughs – Walking tours by former homeless guides to refugees and asylum seekers, the homeless, and people from disadvantaged backgrounds to help their mental health
TfL research shows that people felt better physically and mentally when they introduced just 20 minutes of walking and cycling per day into their lives, with benefits 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 251 projects in every borough. This has encouraged more than 44,000 participants across London to walk and cycle.
Environmental and Community charity, Groundwork London, who works with communities across the capital to transform their lives and the places they live in, are working with TfL and the London Marathon Charitable Trust to deliver the grants.
Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, said: “We’ve seen a huge rise in walking and cycling in recent years as more and more Londoners choose sustainable ways to travel around the capital. The grants awarded by TfL to community groups across London will help support people from all backgrounds to walk and cycle – which is a vital part of building a better, greener London for everyone.”
Miranda Leedham, Head of Customer Marketing & Behaviour Change at TfL, said: “We are committed to ensuring that walking and cycling is accessible for all and want everyone in London to experience the benefits of walking and cycling, from keeping fit to improving their wellbeing. Walking and Cycling Grants London has played a vital role in increasing representation and we’re looking forward to seeing the results of these inspirational projects, which are bound to encourage even more Londoners from diverse backgrounds to travel more actively around the capital.”
Catherine Anderson, Executive Director of The London Marathon Charitable Trust, said: “Our mission is to inspire activity, and we know that providing more opportunities for walking and cycling can help many more people build activity into their daily routines. We can’t wait to see the impact these new projects will have within their communities, supporting people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds across the capital to lead active and healthy lives.”
Dorothy Dady, Co-founder, ELREM Foundation, said: “After a successful summer carrying out the first iteration of our Deaf Cycling UK project, we are delighted to have received funding from the Walking and Cycling Grants London that will allow us to continue this brilliant initiative in a slightly different format. Our walk and cycle program being funded will encourage participation by the Deaf community, that has been historically neglected in organised events that are ‘accessible’ and ‘inclusive’. We received and continue to receive many messages asking when our next program of events will begin, and we are delighted to be able to inform the Deaf community that we have this funding confirmed for Deaf-led instructors to carry out a walking and cycling program next year.
“The Deaf community suffer diabetes, heart related conditions, isolation and depression to a far greater degree than the general population due to the lack of accessible community based events. Encouragement, participation and wellbeing are integral to the work our foundation carries out. Thanks again to WCGL!”
Natalie Bays, Managing Director, The NO Collective, said: “We are delighted that TfL has decided to support our project with ‘Girls Do Tours’, we know that this intergenerational project will mean the world for our female team and our elderly participants to take part in over the coming years.”
(Picture – TfL)