July 2020


Snaresbrook Primary School pupil has place confirmed in record books


A Snaresbrook Primary School pupil who broke the world record for ‘most flips of a plastic bottle in one minute’ has finally had his place in the record books confirmed.

Daniel Giorgetti was 11 when he performed 47 successful flips – beating the previous record by eight – on 9 July 2019, with Guinness World Records formally confirming his achievement last month, having reviewed the video evidence.

Only flips in which the half-filled water bottle rotated through 360º and landed on its base were counted.

Watch the video here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=341616873443575

Visit wnstd.com/flip


Clothes sales at Eton Manor RFC support homeless charity

20200516_162703Donated clothes at Eton Manor RFC

Eton Manor RFC has raised £930 for charity by holding clothes sales at the Nutter Lane venue.

“On 28 June and 19 July we held clothes sales with items donated by the community. Wanstead bakers also made cakes for us to sell… The proceeds will go to The Corner House Project and will be used to support the homeless in the coming winter months. We would like to thank everyone who donated so generously and a massive thank you to all the volunteers who sorted clothes and helped at the sales,” said a club spokesperson.


Campaign calls on council to expand Wanstead’s Grow Zones project

6F2E0E62-14F9-44C0-A865-635660DFED07©Geoff Wilkinson

A campaign is calling on Redbridge Council to extend Wanstead’s Grow Zones project to other parts of the borough.

“Grow Zones are areas on the edges of parks and road verges where the grass is left to grow long and naturalise with wild flowers over spring and summer… Wild areas can help nature thrive in cities and are a low-cost way the council can help address the biodiversity crisis,” said a spokesperson for Wild Wanstead, which has been working on the project with the council for the last two years.

Visit wnstd.com/gz


No ‘viable alternative to closure’ for St Joseph’s School in Wanstead

IMG_3563The school on Cambridge Park was founded in 1918

St Joseph’s School in Wanstead was closed down earlier this month having failed to find a new owner.

“It is with the deepest sadness that the trustees of the Institute of Our Lady of Mercy have reluctantly taken the decision to close the school. We know there were hopes the school could be saved and a new owner found who would continue the school’s unique ethos. However, despite our best efforts, sadly, we have not been able to find a viable alternative to closure,” said Chair of the Trustees Sister Colette.


Wanstead Fringe statement


A statement from the Wanstead Fringe Association

“2020 is a year like no other, and inevitably that means the Wanstead Fringe just isn’t going to be possible. So, like Glastonbury, we’re thinking of this as a fallow year and hope to be back in 2021, bigger and better than ever. Having said that, we are cherishing the glimmer of hope that one special event might be feasible… we’ll be sure to let everyone know if it’s going to happen.”


National Trust events delayed

wac-3The group's first talk was set to be about Waltham Abbey Church

The Woodford and District branch of the National Trust has issued an apology as the group’s recently announced new programme of talks has been put on hold.

“It seems unlikely that any of our meetings will go ahead as hoped, as both our venues – the Woodford Memorial Hall and All Saints Church hall in Woodford Green – have no plans to reopen for groups like ours for the coming few months,” said a spokesperson.

Call 07711 796 118


Redbridge Council consults residents to make Wanstead’s streets quieter and safer

L1220589©Geoff Wilkinson

Wanstead is one of seven areas in Redbridge chosen by the council to be part of its Quiet Streets initiative.

“Wanstead has always been a green and quiet place and our objective is to try and enhance that. This programme will aim to reduce speeding, rat running and create more space for people to walk and cycle safely around the neighbourhood. At the start of lockdown, everyone noticed how much quieter the streets were and it would be good if we could keep some of the benefits of that. We want to have streets that are quieter, with more places for planting, and safe for our kids to play on,” said Councillor John Howard, Cabinet Member for Civic Pride.

The council has received more than £500k from TfL to fund the project and residents are invited to put forward their ideas on what improvements they would like to see.

Visit wnstd.com/safer


Old enough to…


In the 10th of a series of articles looking at the work of Age UK Redbridge, Barking and Havering, Janet West explains how they have risen to the challenge of coronavirus

We have worked hard keeping in contact with our service users over the last three months during these difficult times. For most of our services, such as advice and information, visiting, befriending, the Wanstead Activity Centre and falls prevention, we switched from face to face support to providing over 8,000 telephone befriending and over 1,000 welfare check calls, helping to identify immediate needs and putting in place timely support. We have dealt with a wide range of enquiries, from helping someone get a working fridge to replacing hearing aid batteries. 

Additionally, our Di’s Diamonds service users have benefited from their own dedicated Facebook page and some online activities set up by the coordinators using Zoom. Indeed, technology has been more and more important in reaching out to people during these troubled times and this has had a hugely beneficial impact on our older residents. Additionally, Brenda, who runs our popular art classes from the Cherry Tree in Wanstead, has been offering support by phone and also opportunities for students to access her art class videos online.

Of course, not all of our service users have access to the internet, and for them, a regular friendly phone call has been crucial to their wellbeing. Having someone to talk to when you are feeling low and unable to go out has been warmly received. We have set up a shopping and prescription collection service for those in need and have been truly humbled with the offers of help we have received from the public.

Our staff have been working from home, which has presented many challenges, but I’m glad to say that, thanks to their dedication, we have managed to overcome these! Our phone lines are still being answered as the calls are diverted to staff at home to deal with and we are now in the process of preparing our offices for a hopeful return in July. Our Wanstead Activity Centre may need to stay closed for a little longer and services within the centre may need to change when we do reopen.

Finally, a story from James, one of our service users in receipt of the telephone befriending service and Ellie, the volunteer who has been ringing him every week, even reached the BBC and was featured on Radio 4. It’s great to know that our services are really helping people when they need it most. You can listen to Ellie and James’ story on our Facebook page.

If you would like to know more about our services, refer someone you know for support or join in our activities, please get in touch.

For more information on Age UK Redbridge, Barking and Havering, email admin@ageukrbh.org.uk, call 020 8220 6000 or visit wnstd.com/ageuk
Age UK has a fact sheet on the coronavirus. Visit wnstd.com/ageuk-virus

Kind workds…


In the fourth of a series of articles documenting the thoughts of anti-bullying ambassador Elsa Arnold, the founder of the Spreading Kindness Through E11 initiative talks about community spirit during lockdown

We’ve all faced our fair share of struggles over the last few months, from immense highs to rock bottom lows – it’s been really difficult. Our lives were flipped upside down within a matter of moments and we all suddenly found ourselves being forced to adapt to a new way of living.

Everyone is going to have a different story to tell coming out of this, our personal lockdown stories, because no one has felt the same about the situation and this has affected us all in completely different ways. In my own life, I’ve seen one thing that has kept people together and kept communities thriving: the power of kindness. The acts of kindness which have permeated throughout the streets of communities have been incredibly heartwarming to see and be a part of.

To highlight a few activities in Wanstead: there have been huge teams of people pulling together to support NHS staff through food donations and shopping assistance as well as great initiatives in helping combat homelessness and ensuring more isolated people are cared for during this time. All over the country, people have given so much time towards helping their neighbours, supporting more vulnerable households and boosting spirits and morale when it’s needed the most. The positive impact that communities have had on the lives of others has been incredible and really has kept people’s hearts alive.

I had an overwhelming response to a project I launched for Mental Health Awareness Week in May, and I produced a community video to show people, particularly at this time, that they are not alone. I think that’s the key, knowing we are never alone, no matter how bleak the road ahead may seem.

Seeing what the communities around me have achieved and put together without a moment’s thought is inspiring because we’re all in this together. Yes, none of us will have the same story to tell, but we can always be there for each other. No action is a small one, and we can all play a positive role in each other’s stories to make sure that in times like these, no one feels alone.

I am extremely grateful to be a part of incredible, uplifting communities doing so much for other people and I would urge anyone reading this to think about how they can make a difference to someone’s day beyond this pandemic. You never know what someone is going through, so keep being mindful, keep caring and keep helping to make sure everyone feels surrounded by love and hope, because we go through life together, never alone. Your actions really do make a difference. Let that be a positive one.

Thank you to everyone who has offered a helping hand to others. You will have made a bigger difference than you know.

To watch Elsa’s community video, visit wnstd.com/notalone. To read Elsa’s blog, visit lostinthought-blog.com[/su_note]

Post-Covid World


What will Wanstead look like in a post-COVID-19 world? In the second of a series of articles, Chair of Wanstead Society Scott Wilding, who is exploring these issues as part of his job, offers his thoughts

Dealing with the new normal of a post-COVID-19 world is still a challenge for all of us. The virus has not gone away. People are still dying from this disease. And we all find ourselves coping with the challenges of daily life in many different ways.

Yet, we have to consider what our lives will look like. The below might give an indication of what’s to come.

Pollution and the environment
One of the side effects of lockdown has been better air quality. In the City of London, nitrogen oxide (the most harmful pollutant) fell by 35%, and in London as a whole, some pollutants were down 60%. But with shops and City Airport reopening in June and with those who can being encouraged to drive to work rather than take public transport, we could see a return – or even an increase – in some pollutants.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. There are indications we can keep the better air quality we have enjoyed. Firstly, many of us have noticed, and liked, the change. And for those with severe lung and breathing difficulties, a reduction in pollution means a better quality of life. Secondly, lockdown gave us all a chance to pause and reassess how we live. The council and TfL are both examining ways in which they can encourage walking and cycling. Wider footpaths and segregated cycle lanes are a must, but investment in existing high streets to make them pleasant places to walk in are also vital. And this leads me to the next point.

Local economy
The OECD predicts the world economy may shrink by 6% in 2020, with the UK hit hardest. So, it’s clear times are tough for all of us. But many of us have been shopping locally during lockdown and it’s now vital that we continue to support Wanstead High Street as much as we can. Our shops need our custom more than ever or many could face closure.

But the economy and the environment are closely linked. By shopping local, walking or cycling to the shops, we are helping to keep the lower pollution levels we have enjoyed. With many of us working at home, the opportunity to shop local has never been so obvious. A post-COVID-19 world could – hopefully – see a high street renaissance.

This month could see the wider opening of pubs and restaurants across the UK, and Wanstead has some top-quality eating and drinking establishments which need supporting. I’ll definitely be heading to the pubs when they open. And my reason? Go to the pub. Drink beer. Save local businesses. Possibly the only time you will ever get away with that excuse. So, let’s make sure we use it.

For more information about how you can help your neighbours during these difficult times, visit wnstd.com/help