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We proudly present our first ‘Poetry Corner’ poem; Hydration by Hermes Solomonides Hermes presented this poem at Redbridge Central Library for this year’s National Poetry day. We will post a new poem each week, so keep checking for updates! Please send any works you would like published to


Hydration, hydration I need stimulation,

An urge for a mouthful to end my frustration,

Don’t give me no other don’t want compensation,

Just please understand this is my obligation.

Hydration, hydration I need lubrication,

If I don’t get my dose there’ll be ramification,

I just cannot focus I lack concentration,

Just a few drops end my deprivation.

Hydration, hydration a small titillation,

It’s my guilty pleasure there’s no explanation,

Give me that fix of wet gratification,

If you haven’t tried it you need education.

Hydration, hydration whatever location,

I’m starting to feel immense trepidation,

I can’t wait no longer I need penetration,

Someone please give me some bloody hydration.

Hydration, hydration there just no translation,

A few tiny sips what a lovely sensation,

You keep reinforcing my true adoration,

I think we should have a romantic vacation.

–          By Hermes Solomonides


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An Evening of Victorian Musical Mirth

Victorian Mirth

Sovra Newman and Leon Berger of ‘The Food of Love’

An Evening of Victorian Musical Mirth – Due to unforeseen circumstances this event has unfortunately been cancelled.  Participants already booked on to the show will be given a full refund.  Please accept our sincerest apologies for any inconvenience caused.  We are hoping to reschedule this event for the summer and this will be advertised on our web site closer to the time.


Don’t leave till it’s too late! Book now for An Evening of Victorian Musical Mirth at Valentines Mansion!

Sovra Newman and Leon Berger of The Food of Love will be returning to the Mansion on Friday 15 November as Sarah Ingelby and Mr George Grossman for an evening of delicious songs depicting London suburbia with its Victorian pretentions and petty annoyances.

Their last event was hugely popular and completely sold out with excellent reviews. Book early to avoid disappointment! Don’t miss the chance for a great festive night out at Valentines.

The Event costs £13 per person and pre-booking is essential. We will be enjoying songs, mulled wine and nibbles from  7.30pm-10.30pm.

Call 020 8708 8100 for tickets. Full details on our web site


 Post Author: Hardip Sohal

Grossmith England

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Battle Badminton! Let the Challenge begin…

Challenge. Improve. Conquer.

Battle Badminton

From the 4th of November the brave can separate from the feeble and step forward to enter a whole new realm of Badminton gameplay. Let Battle commence!

Battle Badminton is a new informal, casual competition league with flexible rules, where players identify opponents and set up challenges online. Defeat your opponent and then compete for bragging rights in a local leisure centre of their choice.

Go online to find new players to challenge, shake the skies with your battle cry then boldly mark your battle ground.

Challenge. Improve. Conquer.

Can you face the challenge..?

Only players aged 18 years old or over can compete in battle. Battle Badminton is for casual players who play Badminton socially in leisure centres and are not members of formal clubs, playing to league / county standard or above. You can compete in local or national leader boards, or create your own! Collect Battle points every time you play, and rise through the 9 ranks of ‘Battle status’.

Fuel your competitive streak and enter the brave new world of Battle Badminton.

Join now to unlock 1 of 10,000 free battle places.

Use Wanstead Leisure Centre or Redbridge Sports Centre as your Battleground!

Check out the Battle Badminton Website.

 Post Author: Emily Polling

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Our Award Winning Park

We’ve spent the past few weeks teetering on the edges of our seats, waiting and waiting, praying that we’d done enough to succeed… Then this week it happened.   The little blue email notification appeared in the corner of my computer. The results were in and I was feeling excited yet nervous about the result…

Clicking into my mailbox I opened the message, boldly entitled People’s Choice Award Results’.  Skim reading the text I jumped straight to our ranking… Valentines Park had achieved 9th place! We’d made it into the top 10 for the second year running! 9th place out of 1,448 parks – not too shabby! YAY!

The annual People’s Choice Award is managed by Keep Britain Tidy and designed to give the public the power to decide which one of the Green Flag sites should be named park of the year.

After six weeks of frenzied campaigning, promoting and complete and utter panic (The marketing team is prone to dramatics, we’re very excitable people) the nation had its say and the votes were cast.

Thanks to your support we were able to claim one of the much sought after top spots! We are pleased to offer our congratulations to Margam Country Park in Neath Port Talbot who scooped the coveted 1st place and warn them to watch out as we will be after their crown next year!

Many thanks to everyone that voted, we are delighted to see just how much the community values our beautiful parks.  Perhaps next year we can encourage a few more of you to vote to get us a Top 5 ranking!

For a full list of winners visit

Post Author: Cathy Pace

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We go live on the National Lottery!

Last Saturday our very own Active4life co-ordinator Gemma Tully was invited to appear live on the National lottery! Alongside three other ecstatic girls (Anne-Marie Asenso, Amina Akbar and Madhuri Joshi), Gemma represented the Redbridge arm of ‘Us Girls’.

Already tingling with excitement the lucky four waited apprehensively for their lift to arrive. Who would be picking them up? What vehicle would they get? How many stars were they likely to see wandering around the television studios?

Suddenly a glamorous people carrier, complete with blacked out windows, pulled up outside. Was this for them? Nervously the girls exchanged glances. Surely this type of car was reserved for celebrity transportation?

A darkened window rolled smoothly down and they were greeted with a smile and an assurance this vehicle was for them. Tumbling into the car, Gemma and co were treated to a luxury trip complete with free drinks and private Wi-Fi.

At about 5pm the girls arrived at Pinewood Studios and were swiftly taken to their Green Room. ‘There were sofas, cushions, a huge TV, fruit baskets, refreshments, sweets and snacks. We were loving it!’ said an overjoyed Gemma. ‘After a briefing about the day and chatting with the other people appearing on the show, we sat down with the stylist who helped us all put together our outfits for the show. Then we had our hair and makeup done and went straight to rehearsal.’

Radio 2 DJ and National Lottery host Chris Evans greeted everyone before running through the show, which our girls were particularly happy about. ‘After the rehearsals it was straight back to the green room for a quick dinner and final touch ups, then to the studio for our live broadcast!’  Exclaimed Gemma.

The show went ahead flawlessly and the knackered girls were chauffeured home.  After recovering from the whirlwind adventure into television and glitterati Gemma told us, ‘We thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience, it was brilliant!’

Well done ladies, it was a great show and you did us all proud!

Post Author: Emily Polling

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Essex’s Got Sporting Talent!

In yet another huge achievement for Essex, young trampolinist Josh Newman will be representing Great Britain at Next month’s World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria.

With this latest win it certainly seems Essex is bursting at the seams with sporting talent! As Chadwell Heath Academy get ready to represent England in the World Schools Volleyball Championships in Portugal, Bancroft’s Prep School will be preparing to represent Redbridge at the London School Games at Crystal Palace. Now Josh Newman joins the celebrations with his latest success. Essex should be feeling very proud of itself and the wonderful accomplishments its young people have made.

Josh will be competing in both the individual and synchro tournament, as well as representing Britain at the Germany vs Great Britain youth match in Cottbus, Germany in less than a fortnight’s time.

After smashing his personal best scores by an amazing three points, the junior athlete won both events for his age group over the course of two weekends.

As if this wasn’t achievement enough, Josh has also been awarded an inspired athlete award from Active Essex county council.

We will be keeping all our fingers and toes crossed for Josh in hope that he reaches his goal and becomes world age champion. Good luck!!!

Post Author: Emily Polling

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Hainault Lodge Work Day

We need your help to take care of our only local nature Reserve! Did you know that Hainault Lodge is the first and only Nature Reserve in the entire of the London Borough of Redbridge to be designated? Join the nature conservation team this Thursday (17th October) from 10 am – 2.30 pm, for a day of practical conservation work, and support them as they work to preserve this beautiful space.

Nature reserves are protected areas that provide havens for a multitude of wildlife. Within these sanctuaries the chance for different species to flourish and survive is greatly heightened. With the vast and rapid increase in urban areas in Britain, it is becoming more important each day to take care of the few wild spaces we have left. The largest and healthiest communities of birds, insects, mammals and wildflowers are now mostly found in protected nature areas and sadly nowhere else.

Years ago Britain would have been bursting with life, overflowing with greenery and creatures. Now it is just stacked full with buildings, roads and waste disposal sites.

Not only is it important to keep our country green to save animals and insects, it is also vital for our own human survival. Unless we do something to counteract the severe damage we have done to our planet and drastically decrease the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere we are all in big trouble. In fact, the risk of dangerous climate change is becoming so high that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change has turned to geoengineering. They plan to create the largest industry in history: by making a series of giant CO2-suckers – devices that will literally suck greenhouse gases out of the air. Unless we do something, and do something soon the earth could warm this century by more than 2 °C, and it is not known if the human race can adapt to such a change.  The plan to suck  CO2 out of Britain’s air is to plant thousands of new trees.

It is thought changes will be implemented by 2100 but you can help make a difference now. Lend a hand at your local conservation sites and be part of getting our planet back on track. Help us stop species from becoming endangered or extinct, help us save our environment, help us save our planet.

This free event is open to adults. If you would like to join us then please meet at Redbridge Cycling Centre Car Park, Forest Road, Hainault, IG6 3HP.

If you have any questions at all please give us a ring on 020 8559 2316 or visit the Redbridge i Nature pages for more information.

Post Author: Emily Polling