Active Environments

London Marathon Foundation

Inspiring activity across the county

Following Ford RideLondon-Essex events, Active Essex have established a strong funding partnership with London Marathon Foundation, the charity arm of London Marathon Events. This partnership has helped to build, co-design and support physical activity opportunities for communities across Essex to enjoy.

£1.75 million has now been injected into the county, since the partnership began in 2022, with over 200 initiatives, sessions and programmes set up to encourage residents to find the activity that’s right for them. Active Essex’s connections with local organisations have ensured this funding has increased activity levels for better physical and mental wellbeing and strengthened communities by harnessing the power of physical activity.


Group 1
Who is it for?
Those who wish to develop their local physical activity offer
Goal 1
Prime Objective:
to increase the local offer for residents to engage in activity
Goal 2
Second Objective:
to support residents physical and mental wellbeing

Working closely with the London Marathon Foundation (LMF), the funding has supported initiatives that highlight active travel methods through walking and cycling, and focuses on reaching hyper local communities, children, young people and marginalised groups.

A large part of the funding provided this year, has again gone to powering a small grants programme to support Essex projects that help residents lead active and healthy lives. Aimed at the hundreds of small community and voluntary organisations across Essex, the fund has engaged with key target audiences, who face the most barriers to physical activity.

individuals estimated to participate in activities in 22/23 investment
Find Your Active Small Grant projects were in levelling up areas
of projects were in local authority areas involved in RideLondon 2023

Read about groups supported through this funding

Children and Young People

Dennis and Dyer Boxing

Beginner sessions for young people in Loughton, providing the opportunity for them to find their act...

Dennis and Dyer
Strengthening Communities

This Girls Ability

A non-profit organisation providing physical activity opportunities for disabled girls & young women...

This Girls Ability
Sport and Physical Activity

Send the Right Message

Teaming up with IndiRock, they provided bouldering sessions for children, young people, and their fa...

STRM Indi Rock
Through our partnership with Active Essex, and the dissemination of this funding, we’ve learnt so much about all of the different challenges that different groups are facing…and the amazing, detailed work local organisations are doing to address the needs of their communities. We know that there is so much we can do together to transform people’s lives through sport and physical activity.
Jessie Leach, London Marathon Foundation

In addition to the Small Grants offer, this year saw Active Essex launch the Find Your Active Places and Spaces fund; an exciting funding opportunity to support organisations who want to improve facilities and assets to make spaces fit for purpose and encourage priority audiences to access more physical activity opportunities.

Projects have ranged from cycle parking in communities to securing allotment plots for residents living with early on set dementia. In high demand, the team are now looking at ways to ensure this offer is sustained for future funding cycles.


The free bike initiative, Essex Pedal Power was once again supported through the London Marathon Foundation, this year with a particular focus on children and young people. Children were identified through the existing Essex Pedal Power operations in Clacton, Harwich and Colchester, as well as a new site on Canvey Island, in collaboration with the School Sport Partnership. Bikes have been provided on a free loan, including accessories of a helmet, lock, lights, pump and hi-vis vest to ensure the upmost safety.

Another key focus through the Strengthening Communities strategic priority has been to support organisations who want to continue to develop. Through a capacity building programme, with funding from LME, recipients were identified from those who have previously received funding and have been highly impactful in their community. To offer resource and sustainability following funding, this programme has helped to sustain their work through scaling and expanding their offer and has since seen 8 organisations receive support.