The London Marathon Charitable Trust (The Trust) has today announced new grants totalling £603,800 to improve facilities that will enable thousands of people in London and Surrey to participate in physical activity.

The Trust, which has now awarded more than £89 million since its founding in 1981, is committed to helping inspire activity across the UK.

Many of the facilities awarded funding in this latest round of grants provide opportunities to participate in outdoor activities, which are of heightened relevance given the impact the current Covid-19 pandemic is having on physical activity provision.

Sir Rodney Walker, Chairman of The Trust, said: “The Trust has a vision of a society in which everyone is physically active which contributes to their health and wellbeing. The Covid-19 pandemic is a great threat to this vision but during these difficult and troubling times for us all, physical activity has never been so important. Not just for our physical health, but for our mental health, too.

“We are proud of the work we do to provide funds to encourage activity and this latest round of grants will enable more communities to enjoy physical activity.”

Twelve organisations have been awarded grants through The Trust’s Facilities Grants Programme, including:

  • £150,000 to Folio Education Trust towards two floodlit outdoor netball courts in an accessible sports and community facility at the new Coombe Wood School in South Croydon, which will provide opportunities for women and girls of all ages and abilities to play netball.
  • £100,000 to Addlestone Canoe Club towards a new building and headquarters for the club in Surrey which will include modern and accessible changing facilities, enabling existing programmes to be extended so more people, including under-represented groups, can participate in paddling and canoeing opportunities all year round.
  • £20,000 to Wheels for Wellbeing to purchase adapted cycles and the additional equipment needed to hold inclusive cycling sessions in the London Borough of Croydon for people of all ages and abilities.
  • £18,500 to Socco Cheta Community Hub towards renovating the main hall at this new community hub in the London Borough of Croydon, which will provide a new affordable and inclusive sports and exercise facility with a wide range of activities for the local community.

Jonathan Wilden, CEO at Folio Education Trust, said: “We are thrilled that The London Marathon Charitable Trust has chosen to support our new school build, Coombe Wood School. The funding of two new netball courts will not only provide outstanding facilities for our students but working with Roundwood Netball Club we will be able to raise participation of netball in the local community for all ages and abilities.”

Carol Reeves, Chairperson at Addlestone Canoe Club, said: “Addlestone Canoe Club is delighted The London Marathon Charitable Trust has been able to support our project, enabling us to engage more participants in Paddlesport activities, with an emphasis of a fun, healthy, active lifestyle for all. This grant will secure the future of the club and its community outreach for many years to come.”

Isabelle Clement, Director at Wheels for Wellbeing, said: “Wheels for Wellbeing is extremely grateful to have been awarded a grant which will enable us to welcome more participants, in particular people who cannot transfer out of their wheelchairs or who need the support of someone else in order to feel the wind in their hair. Ultimately, this grant means that more disabled people in South London will be able experience the joy of cycling.”

Laura Whittall, Project Lead for Socco Cheta Community Hub, said: “We are very thankful to The London Marathon Charitable Trust for awarding us this funding. This is a vital project in our community that will enable local people to access an inclusive and diverse range of sports and physical activities to support their health and wellbeing.”

This round of funding was awarded in early March 2020. Since then, the significant uncertainty brought about by the unfolding Covid-19 pandemic has meant The Trust has made the difficult decision to not accept any new applications to the Facilities Grants Programme for the time being. This is a temporary measure and it is hoped the programme will be re-open again to new applications soon. For further details visit lmct.org.uk which will be updated regularly with any new information.