Charlton Gets Active! The dust is just settling on a bumper week of physical activity for the Charlton community. Over 900 children from Windrush Charlton, Charlton Manor, Cherry Orchard, Charlton Park Academy, Henwick and Kidbrooke Park schools have been running, cycling, scooting and skipping their way through over 50 activities across the week, in celebration of the first annual #ActiveCharlton festival. Aside from all of the fun and exciting, local activities on offer, what makes this week special is the volunteer workforce behind it. Over 50 local people have stepped up in one way or another and invested their skills to make this week such a success. The week is organised by Team100 Charlton a local partnership designed to get Charlton and its surrounding areas more active through increased volunteering. Coordinated by charity, Access Sport, Team100 Charlton has bought together a diverse group of local people, united to make a difference in their community. “It really is a great opportunity for the children, even better that we get to help out – it’s really fun!” – Alya Gimatova, Team100 Charlton Projects like Team100 Charlton are addressing a serious need. Greenwich has one of the highest rates of childhood obesity in London, where over 40% of year 6 children are overweight or obese by the time, they leave primary school (Royal Borough of Greenwich, 2017) and as Sport England reported last November, local volunteering has actually declined over the last year (Sport England, 2018). Team100 Charlton has created accessible volunteering opportunities that really do have a local impact on young people's activity levels. Among the participants, 600 year 6’s were given a pedometer at the beginning of the week, to add a fun gaming element to being physically active. Other activities included the Charlton Bike Bus, an initiative that supports children cycling into school as part of a group led by professional ride leaders and adult volunteers. The Bike Bus twisted and turned through Charlton to pick up its first riders and eventually drop 24 children off at Cherry Orchard & Charlton Manor Primary School. Team100 Charlton members, Joy & Nick supporting the Charlton Bike Bus. 20th June 2019. Another activity in the week, supported by local volunteers, saw two local roads outside of schools, shut during drop-off and pick-up times to show the children, and their families some of the benefits of having less traffic idling outside of schools. Volunteers installed ‘Road Closed’ signs at each end of the road whilst hundreds of children cycled, walked, scooted and skated into their school day. The schools themselves, held morning yoga classes, family circuits to really engage the whole community. Friday saw TV presenter, journalist and project ambassador Rebecca Charlton join-in in the festivities as all 6 schools took part in local activities, further supported by adult volunteers. Activities varied from a fun-run around the estate to BMX at the track and trips to local play centres. This has shown the Year 6 children, who will be soon transitioning into independent travel at secondary school, how easy and safe it is to walk around to get to their community activities. Initiatives like this, that look at the fight against inactivity as a wider subject, work with young people to change their behaviour but also focuses on the environment, empowers local volunteers, works with groups to access their facilities, mobilises traffic engineers to close roads and creates the environment that encourages community-based physical activity. Thanks to Charlton Athletic Community Trust, Royal Borough Greenwich Council and Charlton Triangle Homes. To find out more about Team100 Charlton, or Team100 in general please email: [email protected] or call 020 7993 9883. Team100 web page.