‘Fit girls’ step up to make a real difference for South Woodford children’s charity

PUBLISHED: 07:00 19 November 2016

Karen Smith leading her fitness class whilst fundraising for the Rose Walton Centre

Karen Smith leading her fitness class whilst fundraising for the Rose Walton Centre


After a year of push ups, pilates and high intensity workouts a small South Woodford fitness company has raised more than £2,300 for a local children’s charity.

Each year Karen Smith, owner of Fitgirlslim, which runs exercise classes across Redbridge, picks a charity to support.

In the past Karen and Fitgirlslim’s members have raised money for Haven House Children’s Hospice, in Woodford Green, and also the British Heart Foundation, but in 2016 she decided to look closer to home.

So close in fact the charity she chose, the Rose Walton Centre, is her neighbours in Crescent Road, South Woodford.

The centre is a small family run local charity, which cares for young children with cerebral palsy – toddlers who are trapped inside bodies they have no control over.

Karen, 53, told the Recorder: “I’ve lived here for 30 years, and my children used to go to nursery in the same building as the Rose Walton Centre.

“I’ve got quite a long connection with it.”

Karen explained her members really loved fundraising for a small charity because “we can make a real difference”.

She continued: “I didn’t want to pick a charity where it all goes on admin.”

The money raised by Fitgirlslim will go towards a new specialist floor, which helps train the children to walk.

But Karen is not done fundraising yet, and tomorrow at Caterham High School, in Caterham Avenue, Clayhall, she is holding a charity aerobathon.

“We had 80 people come last year, and we’ve got a massive sports hall, so I’m hoping to get 100 people, and raise another £1,000,” Karen appealed.

That would beat both of her previous years’ totals.

Karen added: “We are hoping the local community will get behind us and join in, you really don’t have to be super fit to take part and we have very experienced instructors leading all sessions.”

Tickets cost £10, with all the money going to the Rose Walton Centre.

The exercise sessions are suitable for all ages, and will involve aerobics, high intensity interval training, “Strictly” style dancing and pilates.

If you would like to take part call 0208 491 7076 or email

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