March 2020


Charity volunteers grateful to an ‘extremely generous’ Wanstead


Marie Curie volunteers are keen to thank local residents for their support following this month’s High Street collection for the Great Daffodil Appeal.

“People were extremely generous and a total £1,171.86 was raised during the day. Shoppers on South Woodford’s George Lane were also generous, but many collectors had to drop out from this location, so the day was much shorter. However, a total of £310.74 was raised there… It is good to see so many people still wearing their daffodil pins to show support,” said Jill Playford.


Old enough to…


In the ninth of a series of articles looking at the work of Age UK Redbridge, Barking and Havering, Janet West summarises the impact of coronavirus on their services and explains what they can still offer

Due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, here at Age UK Redbridge, Barking and Havering we are busy adapting our services so we can continue supporting older people in the three boroughs we serve.

Whilst some services will continue as near to normal as possible for the time being, some will inevitably be more affected as we strive to follow the government’s advice to help keep people safe.

Unfortunately, this means that since 17 March, we have had to close the Allan Burgess Centre – our activity hub in Wanstead – to comply with the current guidelines, meaning we cannot provide lunch or activities for the foreseeable future.

The activities carried out at the Cherry Tree Cafe (Zumba and art classes) will also cease as the centre has to close its doors as well. We will be offering telephone communication to service users affected if they would like it, so we can at least give them someone to talk to and offer advice if they need it.

The situation is changing all the time, so we will be updating our website as the weeks progress, or people can phone the office for more information.

Here at our offices in Ilford, we will still be running a limited advice and information service, and our telephone befriending service, with some changes to how these are delivered as more staff and volunteers need to work from home.

Social activities make up a lot of our services, allowing people to socialise together in groups. With current advice, we can sadly no longer organise these gatherings until further notice.

On the bright side, we are receiving many kind offers from the public who want to help and we are looking at ways we can use this extra resource whilst being mindful of our duty to safeguard older people.

In the meantime, we would like to encourage older people to ask for help if they need it, firstly turning to their families, friends or neighbours, but if they don’t have any support networks, then do contact us and we will try to help where we can.

Please be aware, during this difficult time, there will be delays in answering calls.

For more information on Age UK Redbridge, Barking and Havering, email, call 020 8220 6000 or visit

Age UK has a fact sheet on the coronavirus. Visit


Cricket club’s new ‘state-of-the-art training facility’ ready to open


The installation of new nets at Wanstead and Snaresbrook Cricket Club has been completed.

“We are now the proud owners of a four-lane, state-of-the-art training facility at Overton Drive. We are absolutely delighted… The nets will be locked and unavailable until a suitable time in April when the ground, hopefully, is drier, but they will be available for use in time for the start of what promises to be a very exciting 2020 season,” said a club chairman Martin Pluck.

The work follows a £75k fundraising drive launched in February 2019.


A community that delivers

DSC_0182©Andy Nutter

Volunteers across Wanstead have been delivering leaflets to their neighbours, offering help and support during the uncertain times ahead. Charlie Renwick explains why she got involved. Pictured here is fellow volunteer Mei Moore (Charlie was self-isolating and unable to be photographed at the time of writing). Photo by Andy Nutter

By mid-March, I started to feel anxious about coronavirus; initially what it would mean for my family and me, but more importantly, what would happen to those older people who don’t have a support network in place.

I knew other people must be feeling the same way, so I turned to Facebook and within minutes found the Redbridge COVID-19 Mutual Aid group, an organisation set up by three others to connect us all at this time.

At the time of writing, the group has over 1,500 members and is growing daily. It offers clear information on Redbridge wards (areas within the borough) and recommendations on how we can all get involved in supporting our local community.

I live in Wanstead Village, where we now have a WhatsApp group with 135 members and counting. Our priority to date has been reaching out to the elderly and those considered to be at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus, to ensure everyone has someone to turn to if they need to self-isolate.

A leaflet template was created, volunteers selected their local streets and printed copies. Our aim was to post one through all letterboxes in the area so everyone has contact details for their local volunteers.

The response has been incredible, from people joining the group as volunteers to messages thanking us for reaching out to them. Another Wanstead volunteer shared a messaged she received from an elderly neighbour: “I just wanted to thank you and Tasha for your lovely offer in my letterbox today. I am 81 but fairly fit, and just now have all that I need. But it is so reassuring to know you are there. I am so grateful for your kindness.”

For me, this is what it’s all about, knowing everyone feels they have someone to turn to during these difficult times.

Our objective is to create a web of support for the village, whether that means a grocery shop, a prescription collection or a chat on the phone to brighten up a lonely day. No request is too small! I’m here, and so is our ever-growing volunteer network.

So, pick up the phone and let’s support each other.

If you need help and you didn’t receive a leaflet, contact Charlie, who will connect you with someone local. No request is too small. Call 07851 632 613

To join the Redbridge COVID-19 Mutual Aid Facebook group, visit

To join the Wanstead Village or Wanstead Park ward WhatsApp group and for a list of other groups across Redbridge, visit


Wanstead swimming pool remains on track for opening in 2021

Proposed-street-view-looking-south-westVisualisation of the new facility on Redbridge Lane West. ©Stanley Bragg Architects

Plans for the construction of a new public swimming pool at Wanstead High School are progressing.

“Works are currently underway at Wanstead High to deliver temporary school accommodation and on-going access to the Multi-User Games Areas during the main school works. Once these current works have been completed, the school will decant into the new accommodation, allowing access to the main works contractor to undertake the programming for the demolition works. A preferred contractor has been identified for the main work, and we are currently concluding contracts. The contractor will be obliged, among other things, to meet a set of agreed ‘social value’ targets, which should include apprenticeship opportunities and construction vacancies for local people. There will be regular contact with residents in the immediate surrounding area throughout the project,” said Councillor Sheila Bain.


Coronavirus (COVID-19): waste and recycling arrangements

L1210473-2©Geoff Wilkinson

Redbridge Council has published it’s waste and recycling arrangements in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We are doing our best to maintain a weekly bin collection service. However, in order to do this, some other waste and recycling services have changed. Over the coming weeks our waste collections teams may have to operate a reduced service, as some key workers become ill or have to self-isolate,” said a council spokesperson.

The council have also warned they may be unable to keep household waste and recycling separate during these difficult times.

Key changes:

  • Collections will begin at the earlier time of 5am
  • Recycling services may change
  • Garden and bulky waste collections will be on-hold with immediate effect
  • Bin and blue box deliveries for recycling, including collection from car parks, will stop
  • If your rubbish collection is missed, it will be taken away on your next scheduled collection day

All changes to council services because of coronavirus can be found here.


‘Largely positive’ feedback for council wheelie bin trial in Wanstead


Redbridge Council has received ‘largely positive’ feedback from residents currently trialling wheelie bins for their household rubbish collection.

“There are 1,530 properties taking part in the pilot in Wanstead. There is no specified length of time for the pilot while we monitor how it’s working, and resolve any issues,” said a spokesperson. The trial began in February and has seen 7,000 households across the borough receive a new 180-litre grey bin.

“Wheelie bins will prevent animals from accessing waste and deters fly-tipping.”


London City Airport drops plans to end the 24-hour weekend flight break

37608320500_7c32c4a29d_k© James Petts

London City Airport has dropped plans to end its 24-hour weekend break (currently no aircraft take off or land between 12.30pm Saturday to 12.30pm Sunday).

The airport has also abandoned plans to operate more early morning and late evening flights, as was proposed in its draft Master Plan. “I want to thank all of you who put so much time, effort and indeed money into campaigning against the expansion proposals,” said John Stewart of HACAN East.

A review into the airport’s controversial flight paths – which include the airspace over Wanstead – continues.


Local foodbank donations decline amid coronavirus stockpiling

20200317_145420Near-empty foodbank collection point in Co-op Wanstead. ©Wanstead Parish

Residents are urged to continue supporting Redbridge Foodbank, which has seen donations decline in the wake of coronavirus.

“We are seeing much-needed donations fall dramatically as people start to stockpile. This is hitting vulnerable members of our community hard. Please do keep on giving – your support is really needed and makes a huge difference,” said Rev Dr Jack Dunn. In Wanstead, collection points are located at Christ Church, St Mary’s (Saturday mornings), Petty Son and Prestwich and the Co-op.



Coronavirus: Wanstead Village and Wanstead Park WhatsApp groups


WhatsApp groups have been established for Wanstead Village and Wanstead Park ward residents who wish to help their neighbours during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I set up the Redbridge Covid-19 Mutual Aid Facebook group – from which the WhatsApp groups have spawned – after hearing about other borough’s coming together to support their residents. I am not very good at sitting around and worrying and I enjoy helping people, so I thought this would be a great initiative,” said Tanya Salinder.