June 2024 • Vision RCL

East London Shakespeare Festival (ELSF) returns to Valentines Park and other parks and open spaces across east London this summer, with a sparkling family-friendly production of the Bard’s romantic
comedy Much Ado About Nothing, touring from June to August.

Come along to Valentines Park on Thursday 25 or Friday 26 July for this sun-soaked mischief and romance under the Mediterranean stars; Much Ado About Nothing. Set against the luxurious backdrop of a modern-day Messina, this opulent tale is brimming with wit, trickery and mischief, with heart coming out on top.

ELSF was founded by Waltham Forest-based actors, directors and producers Ursula Early
and Rosie Ward in 2020. The company has been nominated for two Off West End Awards:
Best Company for A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2021) and Best Ensemble for Romeo and
Juliet (2023).

This summer, Much Ado About Nothing brings ELSF’s trademark contemporary twists and
turns, high-energy party numbers and audience participation to more venues than ever
before. The production is family-friendly, and people of all ages are welcome and encouraged.
An extensive community engagement programme offering a range of activities for local
residents will run alongside the tour, with lots of opportunities to get involved.

A festival vibe will be encouraged with gates opening an hour before the show, so bring a picnic and why not sign up for a mask-making workshop run one of our in-house-party-goers (actors) – make your own mask and be part of the masked ball, book your tickets for pre-show mask making workshops here.

Book your tickets to see Much Ado About Nothing at Valentines Park here.

For the full tour dates for Much Ado About Nothing visit the East London Shakespeare Festival website.

Colourful hand-made silk flags by Kinetika to be featured in the Streets of Colour Parade in Valentines Park this summer. Credit: Caroline Genis.
Colourful hand-made silk flags by Kinetika to be featured in the Streets of Colour Parade in Valentines Park this summer. Credit: Caroline Genis.

Magnificent kite-flying displays, a catwalk of vibrant, cultural fabrics, and an inspiring flag parade led by Redbridge’s disabled communities, are just three of the projects that residents have been developing, ready to launch in Redbridge this summer.

30 residents, known as Community Producers, have been working with expert artists to develop a world-class programme, including: award-winning dance company, Rambert; producer of large-scale processions and spectacles, Emergency Exit Arts; and internationally acclaimed flag-artists, Kinetika.

The projects have been developed as part of Colours of Redbridge, a new programme of free arts and culture that puts residents at the forefront of the design process and aims to bring new, high-quality creative activities to our doorsteps.

Other projects include a food festival which explores the link between our food and cultural identity, a lantern parade to brighten up the streets of Barkingside, and a dance programme of global styles to support our physical strength and mental wellbeing.

The full programme begins on Thursday 27 June when a highly decorated south Asian truck will be parking up at Fairlop Waters and unpacking a series of workshops led by Bradford artist Zareena Bano. This is closely followed by the launch of a languages café at Mildmay House in Ilford on Friday 28 June which will unite residents through the most widely spoken languages in the borough.

All events are free to attend and there are activities suitable for all ages, interests and accessibility requirements. Booking is recommended for most workshops and activities, which can be done online or over the phone, although there will also be spaces for people to turn up on the day.

Community Producer, Shagufta Hussain said:
“It’s been an absolute privilege to have been a part of this project with Colours of Redbridge, and I’ve learnt so many new skills and met some amazing people along the way. Having lived in the borough for the last 17 years, I’ve never seen anything done this way before, where residents are involved in the process of organising and delivering community events. I’m really looking forward to seeing our local community come together, to enjoy these events as much as we have enjoyed creating them.”

Local Artist, Sadia Ur-Rehman said:
“I’ve been working with the Community Producers to help create some truly exciting and unique projects ready for the summer. I am really impressed by the passion and talent of people in Redbridge, and we can’t wait for everyone to come along and get involved in what we’ve created. The more people that come along, the more free activities we’ll be able to put on in the future”.

Programme Director of Colours of Redbridge, Pete Nichols, said:
“We’re so excited to finally launch our summer projects, working with some amazing residents and some of the best artists in the country. This is just the beginning, as next year the most successful projects will be made bigger and better, becoming a regular fixture in our streets and neighbourhoods. I’d urge you all to try something new with us this summer, especially if you’ve not done something like this before – you might learn a new skill, meet new friends, find out something about yourself or it could even lead to a new job or hobby.”

For the full programme listings, visit the Colours of Redbridge website or call us on 020 8708 2858 and choose option 4, or keep an eye out for listings in your local library.

For anyone interested in getting more involved in the Colours of Redbridge programme, please email hello@colours.red.

Valentines Mansion will be the backdrop for this year’s International Yoga Day celebration on Friday 21 June 21 in Valentines Park as part of the Active Body Healthy Mind project.

This large-scale outdoor event invites yoga enthusiasts and newcomers alike to experience the transformative power of yoga amidst the lush greenery and peaceful ambiance of the historic gardens.

The event will feature a variety of yoga classes suitable for all levels. Expert instructors will guide participants through different styles of yoga, including breathworks, sun salutations, yogic jogging, laughter yoga, yoga nidra, meditation & kirtan followed by song and music.

Yoga is renowned for its comprehensive health benefits, combining physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation to foster a holistic sense of well-being. Physically, yoga enhances flexibility, strength, and balance. Mentally, yoga is a powerful tool for stress reduction and mental clarity. Regular practice can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, improve mood, and increase mindfulness. Through the integration of mind and body, yoga cultivates a state of calm and centeredness, essential for navigating the demands of everyday life.

Beyond individual health benefits, this event emphasizes the importance of community connection. Practicing yoga in a group setting fosters a sense of belonging and shared purpose.

So, this International Yoga Day, step out of the hustle and bustle of daily life and immerse yourself in the peaceful surroundings of Valentines Park. Whether you come alone, with friends, or with family, this event promises to be a rejuvenating and enriching experience.

Mark your calendars for Friday 21 June, and embrace the opportunity to enhance your physical and mental well-being, while connecting with a vibrant community of yoga enthusiasts.

Event details

Date: Friday 21 June
Time: 9:30am-12:30pm
Location: Valentines Mansion Gardens, Emerson Road, Ilford, IG1 4XA
Admission: Free
Advance booking required, visit our dedicated Active Body Healthy Mind webpage.

Bring your yoga mat, comfortable clothing, and a chair (if you require seated adaptations). We look forward to seeing you there for a day dedicated to health, mindfulness, and community spirit. Namaste!

In honour of Volunteers Week, we are thrilled to recognise the incredible dedication and hard work of our volunteers at Vision Redbridge Culture & Leisure (Vision RCL). Each year, we host a special event to express our gratitude, inviting all our volunteers to come together with key Vision volunteer organisers for an evening filled with music, food, and refreshments.

This year’s celebration took place on Thursday, 6 June, at the exclusive indoor venue of Foxburrows Barn in Hainault Forest. The event was graced by the presence of the Mayor of Redbridge, Councillor Sheila Bain, and Catherine Rowan, Vice Chair of Vision Trustees, who personally thanked our volunteers for their invaluable contributions.

At Vision Redbridge Culture & Leisure, we offer a diverse range of volunteering opportunities across our various services, including parks and open spaces, culture, libraries, theatre, music, health and wellbeing, and leisure facilities. Many of our volunteers have been supporting these services for many years, making a lasting impact on our community.

Volunteering with Vision RCL not only benefits the community but also enriches the lives of our volunteers, helping them gain new skills, boost their self-esteem and meet new people.

If you’re interested in joining our vibrant volunteer community, please go our dedicated Volunteering webpage where you will find more information and how to sign up.

Thank you to all our amazing volunteers for your continuous support and dedication!