Redbridge small business Step-Outside-Guides may have had a lucky break?
Hello there. I live in Goodmayes and I write and publish Step Outside Guides, books especially written for families and groups to enjoy cost-free days exploring London.
A few weeks ago the Sophia Hubs newsletter had an article about the Crossrail Community Ambassador, Sultana Pasha. She is working very hard to bring the local community and the new Crossrail service together. One of their projects is to recruit ‘station adopters’ from local primary schools. These groups of pupils visit the station with their teacher, and among other things have been helping to plant up the flower beds on Seven Kings and Goodmayes stations.
Recently I spent a great morning on the trains with Sultana and her colleague Natasha, learning loads about the new Crossrail facilities that the Liverpool Street – Shenfield line will soon enjoy, and talking about Crossrail and the community.
Last week Sultana suggested that I might like to take a train ride on World Book Day with a group of children from a local school, talk to them about London, and read excerpts from a Step Outside Guide. So last Thursday, a group of year three pupils from South Park Primary School, their teacher and classroom assistants, Sultana, Natasha and myself boarded the train at Seven Kings and headed for Shenfield.
They were a delightful group of children, dressed in book character costumes for World Book Day. We enjoyed hearing about their trips to London, and also where they had travelled to on this railway line. We looked at photos of London and then met Octavius, the octopus guide from our second guide book, ‘Down by the Thames’. Since Octavius loves dressing up in different costumes around London, he was the perfect choice for World Book Day.
Through the book, we followed Octavius’s route along the Thames, enjoying the places he visited, the sights he saw and the fun he had. By the time the train had returned from Shenfield to Seven Kings, we’d had a great time together and badges and puzzles sheets were handed out.
Many thanks to Sultana and Natasha, who organised the whole morning and to the staff and pupils from South Park School who were such great company! Thanks too to Ros Southern and Sophia Hub, who put us in touch with each other. Step Outside Guides is now looking forward to linking in with more Crossrail projects in the future.
Francesca Fenn 🙂