June 2019 • Vision RCL

Vision works with volunteers regularly across all of our services, helping to create opportunities and shape communities for the future. We value our volunteers and all of their hard work in giving back to the community. In an event on Thursday 6 June, coinciding with Volunteers Week, all of our volunteers were invited to an evening hosted at Valentines Mansion where their contributions were celebrated.

One of sports volunteers, Chandra Arora, known as Chani, has been working with Vision’s Sport and Health team to offer free hockey coaching sessions for all pupils, helping and encouraging both new and established players develop their game. President of Redbridge & Ilford Hockey Club, Chani is a passionate hockey man, with over 20 years of coaching experience including preparing teams to compete for the London Youth Games.

During the event last week, Mayor of Redbridge, Cllr. Zulfiqar Hussain presented Chani with an award for ‘unsung hero volunteer of the year’ on behalf of England Hockey.

Chani is a great ambassador for hockey and his personal ethos is that “no children should suffer from lack of resources.” He has proactively sought sponsorships and organised various fundraising events to generate funds for sports equipment and has successfully approached major hockey suppliers over the years for new and old stock for the children and schools who could not fund the cost.

Vision offers a range of volunteering opportunities with our libraries, parks, sports and arts services. For more information please visit:

Saturday 15 June 11am-4.30pm

VR Playground is the latest ride experiment by SPACE artist and the world’s first Thrill Engineer, Professor Brendan Walker and his Thrill Laboratory.

Scoot through the metropolis inside a mono-wheel; leap tall structures in a single bound; and undulate upwards to escape the deep abyss – don a virtual reality headset, jump on a playground swing, and be transported on an exhilarating swing-powered adventure!

In VR Playground, Professor Walker propels you through a series of colourful abstract virtual worlds, each driven by the action of your swinging within a cubic structure. He has crafted moments of wonder, awe and trepidation to elicit unexpected emotions, which you inadvertently perform to onlookers, many of whom are queuing for the ride themselves, curious to discover the secrets of these hidden worlds.

VR Playground is commissioned by Horizon Digital Economy Research, Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Greenwich + Docklands International Festival, and Without Walls. It is supported by Arts Council England and produced by Thrill Laboratory, Horizon Digital Economy Research, and Norfolk & Norwich Festival. To learn more about our partner, please visit the Without Walls website.

Ilford Town Centre, IG1 1LL
For more information about #TechIlford see our event listing.

without walls logo

Vision’s Nature Conservation Ranger Team have been supported by partner The Orchard Project to help enrichen the community, work with local residents and volunteers to plant and maintain orchards in Claybury Park and other Redbridge parks.

We are excited to share that The Orchard Project recently landed a place as one of three finalists in the BBC Food and Farming Awards, hosted by the Food Programme on BBC Radio 4 for the work they’ve been doing alongside our Nature Conservation Ranger Team in Claybury Park. The Orchard Project’s scheme helps to preserve our orchards and heritage as well as reducing food waste. The BBC judge, Donald Sloan, visited Claybury Park to meet with Orchard Project’s, Kath Rosen and Elizabeth Pegler and Vision’s Senior Nature Conservation Ranger, Francis Castro and Nature Conservation Volunteer, Lesley Warner.

Francis Castro spoke about the work behind maintaining the orchard:

“The Orchard is looked after by the Nature Conservation team, and we have a group of volunteers who essentially help us to maintain this site.

Quite a lot of the apples are used by the wildlife of the park and some of the local residents will take a handful or a bag. With The Orchard Project we are harvesting the surplus here as well to produce apple juice and cider as part of their enterprise scheme which is really exciting; it’s just a really good relationship.”

Photo Credit: BBC