October 2020 • Vision RCL

Children in Redbridge were celebrating on Sunday with the news that they were part of the winning nominees for Outstanding Achievement in Opera at the 2020 Olivier Awards for the production of Noye’s Fludde at the Theatre Royal Stratford East staged in July 2019. 

The production was made up of over 200 young people across Redbridge and Newham, with pupils from Churchfields Junior School (Redbridge) and Brampton Primary School (Newham), young musicians from Redbridge Music Service and Newham Music Service, as well as the Royal College of Music, Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Joining the ensemble were a team of professional performers, as well as dancers from Studio Wayne McGregor and the community groups: Stratford East Singers and ENO Community Choir.

Simon Roberts, Head of Redbridge Music Service, said:

“We are absolutely thrilled that after being part of such a worthwhile and rewarding project which required hours of preparation and additional work we receive an internationally recognised award. Stratford East and English National Opera where excellent partners to work with but the biggest recognition goes to the enthusiasm of the pupils and their families who supported the event. Vision RCL cannot begin to even contemplate taking on additional projects such as this without the backing and support of the London Borough of Redbridge and Arts Council England.”

Nadia Fall, Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Stratford East, said on the evening:

“I only wish the children could be here because this award is really to celebrate the children’s ensemble and so this one’s for them.”

Musical Director, Martin Fitzpatrick, continued by saying:

“All their talent was infectious, they lifted our hearts and they lifted the hearts of our audience. The future is theirs, we hope that they get to perform like this once more and children you were brilliant this award is for you, fantastic well done.”

More about the production can be found on youtube or via the video below.

Photo Credit: Stratford East/Marc Brenner

Redbridge Council has announced bold and exciting plans to preserve and expand Fairlop Waters, adding 250 acres of green space to the existing park over the coming years.

Fairlop Waters is one of the largest country parks in Redbridge, home to expansive green space, a lake, and a wide range of outdoor activities, including the Boulder Park and High Ropes.

Following the huge increase in visitor numbers to the park during the pandemic, the Council has launched an engagement exercise to find out what additional leisure, cultural and environmental facilities local people would like to see in Fairlop Waters.

In 2020, parks and green spaces have become even more valuable for our health and wellbeing, providing us with essential spaces to relax, explore, and discover during a time of restrictions, uncertainty, and loss.

Over the next three months, Redbridge Council will be working with the community engagement social enterprise ‘Street Space’ to engage with residents, businesses, and organisations to understand what the park means to them and begin to collectively create an exciting and inspiring vision for Fairlop Waters.

This vision could include wildlife conservation areas, wildflower meadows, additional walking and cycling routes, hospitality options, and a wild swimming area, to name just a few ideas.

Through a series of on-site conversations, online workshops, and unique collaborations with local groups, the Council will be seeking views on:

  • How and when is the park currently being used?
  • Who is using it, and who isn’t?
  • What works well for visitors, and what doesn’t?
  • What’s missing from Fairlop Waters?
  • How can Fairlop Waters improve the lives of the local community?
  • What could the future of Fairlop Waters look like?
  • How can we protect and preserve the wildlife and biodiversity of Fairlop Waters?

The Leader of Redbridge Council, Councillor Jas Athwal, said:

“Our parks and green spaces are incredibly important to local people, and we’re so lucky in Redbridge to have so much open green space, especially at the moment while we navigate through the pandemic.

“Being able to go for a walk or a cycle ride through our parks has helped many of us through this difficult year, and so we’re now looking at how we can offer even more in Fairlop Waters, one of our flagship parks. We’re looking into expanding the green space and potentially even
doubling the size of the park, while making sure it’s protected for future generations.”

For more information and to get involved in helping to shape the future of Fairlop, please contact us at fairlop@wearestreetspace.org or check the dedicated Facebook and Instagram pages and online platform.

We are introducing Vision Venues, a new way to make effortless bookings with Vision Redbridge Culture and Leisure. We are a brand-new team here to help you book into our fabulous venues located across Redbridge! Our venues include: Valentines Mansion, Redbridge Town Hall, Sir James Hawkey Hall and many more! You will be delighted to know that we are now taking bookings again- Planning ahead? We are taking bookings for the next two years, to avoid disappointment, make sure to book in advance!

We aim to:
1) Respond to all enquiries within 1 working day.
2) Offer amazing venues at competitive prices.
3) Provide exceptional customer service.
4) Provide support to ensure your event runs smoothly.

What’s more, if your booking can not go ahead due to government guidelines, we guarantee to move your date free of charge, so you can rest assure that your booking is COVID secure!

For more venue information, please do not hesitate to contact us by phone on: 020 8708 2858 or click here to enquire. Don’t miss out on your chance to make a booking today – we would love to welcome you back into our Venues!

For exclusive news and updates regarding our Venues, feel free to sign up to our mailing list here: https://vrcl.uk/VenueMail

Don’t forget to follow us on social media! @VisionVenues


Green Flag Award Logo

The residents of Redbridge are very fortunate to have so many green spaces to enjoy, with a vast total of 50 parks and open spaces across the borough. Vision RCL takes pride in managing all of these sites successfully on behalf of Redbridge Council.

Vision RCL is committed to improving the quality of the facilities available in the borough and achieving the Green Flag Award is all part of our strategy to make Redbridge a better place to live.

The Green Flag Award is the national standard for parks and open spaces in England and Wales, recognises and rewards the best green spaces in the country with Green Flag Status. Each year more parks and open spaces achieve this award and for 2020, a record breaking 2,061 green spaces across the UK have achieved this recognition, including 9 of our very own.

Amongst these wonderful Redbridge parks to receive this award is our premier park, Valentines Park, very popular with visitors all year round with lots of facilities available including a newly refurbished Outdoor Gym and Grade II* listed building – Valentines Mansion and Gardens.

Valentines Park

Also to achieve the award is one of our biggest country parks Hainault Forest, well appreciated by families and dog walkers for adventure play areas, farm, nature trail, woodland and so much more.

The other successful Green Flag parks in Redbridge are:

  • Claybury Park
  • Clayhall Park
  • Elmhurst Gardens
  • Goodmayes Park
  • Ilford War Memorial
  • Seven Kings Park
  • South Park
Hainault Forest

The criteria by which each site is judged are grouped under eight categories that outline the standards that a Green Flag must achieve and set targets for improvement. Vision RCL celebrates the achievement of these awards year on year and is proud to have achieved Green Flag Awards for parks in Redbridge.

Vision RCL has been awarded £547,565 as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure they have a sustainable future, the Culture Secretary has announced today.

Vision is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support. £257 million of investment has been announced today as part of the very first round of the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England. Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.

Vision operates and manages a range of leisure and cultural facilities in the London Borough of Redbridge. This funding will directly support the work and viability of Redbridge Drama Centre, the Kenneth More Theatre, Redbridge Music Service and Vision’s cultural events programme.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

“This funding is a vital boost for the theatres, music venues, museums and cultural organisations that form the soul of our nation. It will protect these special places, save jobs and help the culture sector’s recovery. 

“These places and projects are cultural beacons the length and breadth of the country. This unprecedented investment in the arts is proof this government is here for culture, with further support to come in the days and weeks ahead so that the culture sector can bounce back strongly.”

Chair, Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota, said:

“Theatres, museums, galleries, dance companies and music venues bring joy to people and life to our cities, towns and villages. This life-changing funding will save thousands of cultural spaces loved by local communities and international audiences. Further funding is still to be announced and we are working hard to support our sector during these challenging times.”

Head of Culture & Libraries, Vision RCL, Gareth Morley said:

“This successful bid to the Culture Recovery Fund is a lifeline for our much loved and valued venues and services. The funding will also support the fantastic array of committed freelance artists, musicians, actors and creatives we work with. We are exceptionally grateful for this support that helps to ensure the viability of our work in these unprecedented times.”

Prime Day is back, starting on 13 October and running through to 14 October. This is a great opportunity for Vision Redbridge Culture And Leisure to increase AmazonSmile donations during these epic two days of deals and promotions.

AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service. The only difference is when shopping with AmazonSmile, 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases will be donated to Vision Redbridge Culture & Leisure. AmazonSmile have already donated £4.6 million to charity

If you shop during Amazon Prime Day deals on 13 & 14 October, you can make a difference to your local trust: Simply shop at AmazonSmile or with AmazonSmile shopping app, and AmazonSmile donates to Vision Redbridge Culture And Leisure.

Please support your local charity Vision Redbridge Culture & Leisure during this online shopping event, every little helps during these difficult times.

Every year Redbridge Schools Library service (SLS) involves  14 secondary schools, 16 primary schools and over 200 students in the Redbridge Children’s Book Award.  Despite the closure of schools due to COVID 19, Redbridge  SLS was determined to keep these young readers and literary critics engaged.  The SLS manager along with Redbridge teachers  has have been busy encouraging students to read and vote for their favourite Teen novel and favourite Children’s novel even though it has had to be done remotely. 

Today, Redbridge Schools Library Service is delighted to announce the winners of the 2020 Redbridge Children’s Book Award.

The Star Outside my Window
by Onjali Q. Rauf

A girl runs away from her foster home to get to the Royal Observatory of London to try and name a newly discovered star after her mother who was murdered by her father.

“I’ve always wanted to be a Star Hunter. Grown-ups call them astronomers, but I think Star Hunter sounds much better. I was going to become one when I finished school, but I can’t wait that long any more. You see, I have to find my mum.

Everyone says she’s gone, but I know that’s not true – I know she’s turned into a star. She’s breaking all the rules of the universe to find me again. And I’m going to break all the rules I know to help her do it.”

Watch a video of the author, Onjali Rauf, talking about her book

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder
by Holly Jackson

A girl finds herself in danger when she uncovers hidden secrets about a historic murder that happened in her town five years ago.

The case is closed. Five years ago, schoolgirl Andie Bell was murdered by Sal Singh. The police know he did it. Everyone in town knows he did it. Almost everyone.

Having grown up in the small town that was consumed by the crime, Pippa Fitz-Amobi chooses the case as the topic for her final project. But when Pip starts uncovering secrets that someone in town desperately wants to stay hidden, what starts out as a project begins to become Pip’s dangerous reality.

Watch a video of the author, Holly Jackson, talking about her book.

Huge congratulations to both winners.

About Redbridge Schools Library Service

Redbridge SLS is run by experienced qualified librarians. Our mission is to be a catalyst for learning by providing teachers and schools with the ideas, research and resources they need to deliver positive outcomes for pupils.

If you take out a subscription, Redbridge SLS will work with you to help you develop a hub for learning, exploration and self-development through our topic, fiction and class reading loans, professional advice and practical support. 

If your interest is piqued and you’re keen to explore our service more, contact nina.simon@visionrcl.org.uk.  Worried about making an ongoing commitment, why not take up our taster option, which gives you the chance to try a product or service without any ongoing commitment.