New Youth Club looking for the next Bear Grylls

youth-skills-optimisedGrays Riverside Big Local are launching an exciting new outdoor skills project for the young people of Grays Riverside in partnership with Forest School for All.

The weekly activities are for youngsters aged 6-19 who want to learn forest skills such as shelter building, fire lighting, outdoor cooking, camp craft and new life skills and will be on different weeknights for three age ranges.

The group are also looking for adult volunteers who would like to receive training and be involved. Organiser, Jeanette Alexander said “I often see young people transformed when they are learning practical skills outdoors, so many don’t get the regular opportunity to do these kinds of activities in a safe environment.”

To register your interest in joining one of the groups fill in the form below or as a volunteer please apply here or call Jeanette on 07788 529505

[contact-form-7 id=”3293″ title=”Youth Skills Register Interest”]

Falconwood Pocket Park – Exciting outdoor project for the whole community


Do you recognise this place in Grays?

It is an oft-missed piece of woodland at the juncion of Bridge Road/Manorway and Argent Street and by early 2017 it will belong to the community of Grays through the work of Riverside Community Big Local.

Once the title has been transferred we will be undertaking some tree surgery work and rebuilding the wall with railings to secure the park at night.

A group of nearby residents are leading on the project and will be talking to the wider community about the possibilities of the pocket park once these works have been completed.

To get involved with this exciting project please complete our volunteer application form

2 year plan in place with £300,000 grant approved

plan-frontWe’re delighted to announce that our latest project plan has been approved and we anticipate drawing down a total of £300,000 towards projects over the next two years.

Details of the planned projects can be found here – and you will see there is a lot going on and to get involved with.

To sign up for more information or to join Riverside Community as a project volunteer or a member of the Board, please complete the form found here.

Grays and Thurrock Residents – Do you have a business idea, would a little funding help?

wonder-soupWe are excited to be partnering with Thurrock Council in launching Thurrock Soup – an event where local entrepreneurs with business or social enterprise ideas share their idea with others and the best idea is funded by the entrance fee!

This simple but effective concept can help you sharpen your focus and improve your idea whilst getting you the chance of winning a few hundred pounds to develop your business plan or product.

The first event will be hosted at The Beehive, West Street, Grays at 18:30 until 20:30 on Friday 9th September and the entrance fee of £5 will buy you a bowl of freshley prepared soup produced from locally grown organic produce and a delicious bread roll. (Of course at the end of the night all entrance fees will go to the winning business or social enterprise idea!)

To register for the event please visit the link here and remember to bring a five pound note with you!


Exciting new project ideas voted on at community meeting.

20160526_111842More success news from the AGM as a wide variety of proposed projects were voted on with such interesting ideas as the Great Artistic Showdown & Showcase, a community market, a pocket wood and learning trail, and a rooftop event or rave (if the top of the multi-storey car park could be made available).

The project with the highest number of votes was a beach café to bring more visitors to Grays Beach and make it a real day out destination.

All of the projects also attracted a number of willing volunteers ready to take on the challenge of breathing life into what are, for the moment, aspirational dreams for a better and more vibrant community.  Of course, it was the beach café that signed up the largest complement of volunteers, showing just how attractive the idea really is.

It is also fascinating to note that some projects brought up at the AGM (see the photo above) have sparked off-shoot ideas following the meeting such as the possibility of having a drive-thru Santa’s Grotto on the roof of the multi-storey car park!  It just goes to show what an inventive, creative community Grays Riverside truly is.


New volunteers signed up at Recruitment Fayre


Riverside Community found itself quite a draw at the recent Volunteer Recruitment Fayre hosted by ngage Thurrock, an organisation that promotes active citizenship and voluntary opportunities.

Just one of a number of organisations offering voluntary work opportunities in Thurrock, RCBL found itself in the middle of fierce competition to snag as many willing volunteers as possible during the three hour event. Rob and Anita, the recruitment team for the event, managed to charm and capture quite a high number of potential volunteers with their friendly and contagious enthusiasm for the project.

In quite a coup for the team, a whole family signed up as potential volunteers within the first hour and the people just kept on coming with ideas and offers of help for future events being planned.

As befits a project that is dedicated to building a strong and cohesive community spirit in the Grays Riverside area, the ethnic mix of the people who signed up to volunteer was fantastically broad and just what is needed to bring about a fully integrated, successful and, most importantly, great community to live in.

For more information on Ngage, visit

To volunteer with Riverside Community, fill out the form at

Introducing Local People to UnLtd Star People Awards

Five local residents were invited to meet Roland Singer-Kingsmith, a social entrepreneurship manager from UnLtd, on 12th May to pitch their ideas for social enterprises that will benefit the Grays Riverside.

UnLtd provides support for budding social entrepreneurs across the UK including direct investment through their Awards Scheme and the type of practical support that an individual needs to get their project from the idea stage to an actionable business.

Roland’s team at UnLtd work with the various Big Local projects across the UK, one of which is Riverside Community, through the ‘Star People’ programme.

The projects discussed at the meetings cover a diverse range of ideas all of which are seen to have some beneficial value for the local community either directly through the delivery of services or indirectly through increased economic activity.

Three local residents who attended the Riverside Community AGM have already shown themselves to be eligible for the ‘Star People’ programme so if you have an idea for a social enterprise and you live in the Grays Riverside area, you can come down to the Riverside Community office and we can arrange a meeting with one of UnLtd’s ‘Star People’ team or you can go to

AGM a complete success – a full compliment of residents now on board!

AGM-photoThe recent Annual General Meeting of Riverside Community Big Local was hailed a complete success having achieved all the objectives for the group on 12th May.

Being a community project, it is important that the Board is comprised of a majority of residents from the area and this was achieved at the meeting with a complement of nine local residents showing their community spirit and desire for real change in the Grays Riverside area by becoming the bedrock for the new Board. The Board is supplemented with six non-resident members.

The business of the meeting was completed with the Board, whilst retaining the broad strokes, long-term vision for the project, setting the priorities for the immediate and up-coming projects, strengthening the vision for a better and more cohesive community for Grays Riverside.

AGMThe meeting was open to the public so that people with ideas could come forward with ideas to improve the community and get an idea of what the project is all about. Although the turnout was not as large as was hoped, three ideas were presented for community projects that were filled with enough potential to be put forward for the ‘Star People’ programme which gets people access to possible funding streams and assistance to realise their ideas.

For more information on the ‘Star People’ programme, administrated by UnLtd, go to their website –

Grays Riverside Community Big Local – A Big Project to make a Huge Difference.

[cvm_playlist theme=”default” aspect_ratio=”4×3″ width=”640″ volume=”50″ videos=”3196″]A group of local residents in the Grays Riverside area have been given £1m of funding to spend over 10 years on transforming their communtiy and their neighbourhood.

Andy, Jennifer and Rob describe the project and encourage you as a local resident or person who works, volunteers or shops in Grays to get involved with this innovative and exciting initiative.

Help us spend £1m in the Community in Grays!

AGM FlyerGrays Riverside Community Big Local is at the end of its first funded year and it has achieved a lot of things, but we still haven’t spent much of the £1 million funding that we have received!

If you live, work or volunteer in Grays Riverside area then you are invited to get involved!  On Thursday 12th May, we are hosting a gathering so that we can share what we have done so far and update next year’s plan.

Please come along to help us choose which projects should received funding that will make the biggest difference in the community in Grays.

Venue: The Beehive Resource Centre, West Street, Grays, Essex. RM17 6XP

Date: Thursday 12th May, 7:00pm

Please tell us that you are coming, by completing this form. Thank you.

[contact-form-7 id=”3190″ title=”AGM sign-up”]