Canning Town outdoor centre renamed after ‘inspirational’ Brede Arkless

Campaigning care group Community Links have renamed their innovative outdoor centre in honour of a woman who meant so much to so many.

The Brede Arkless Outdoors in the City is the new name for their outdoor centre in Canning Town just off the A13.

It celebrates the life of Brede Arkless who died five years ago.

Kevin Jenkins, co-founder of Links said: “For over 25 years we had the privilege of working with Brede, introducing children and young people from inner city Newham to the thrills, challenges and risks of the great outdoors.

“Community Links Outdoors in the City is an exciting and innovative site. The green oasis offers children and young people the opportunity to experience and participate in over 15 different outdoor activities.

“Brede was a total inspiration and spirit to everyone who knew her.

“Her achievements in the mountaineering world are well known. Less known but equally important is how she encouraged and supported disadvantaged children and young people to access, enjoy and excel in the mountains.

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“Her unique style and natural likeability has persuaded both the most difficult of youngsters to get involved as well as the weak and bullied.

“Working with Links for over 25 years Brede literally introduced hundreds and hundreds of young people to the mountains of Wales and Scotland as well as the Himalayas. Many of these young people have continued to enjoy the mountains and introduced their children too.

“We believe that the centre will be a fitting tribute and celebration of Brede’s life, as it continues to introduce children and young people to the thrills, risks and challenges of the great outdoors for future generations of young people to come.”

Brede’s Outdoors in the City is a unique facility offering the thrills, challenges and excitement of the great outdoors in Newham.

It features a huge range of outdoor activities — everything from abseiling to zip wires, via archery, bush craft, high ropes, orienteering, parachute games, rock climbing, and more.

It hosts events of all kinds, to suit everyone from corporate business teams to young families.

The centre includes an indoor training room, a small kitchen, WC and shower facilities, picnic and BBQ area.

It is situated within Canning Town Recreation Ground in Freemasons Road.

The naming ceremony and unveiling was attended by all kinds of Links users and supporters.

Those present gave some sparkling memories of Brede and how she made everyone feel safe, special, good and fearless, regardless of their abilities.

Sir Christopher Bonnington said: “I have so many good memories of Brede. She was great fun to be with, was an excellent guide and food mountaineer with sound mountain judgement.”

Kevin added: “Brede was our guide, guiding young people in Wales, Scotland, the Alps and the Himalayas. Well over 3,000 people experienced their first mountain under her inspirational guidance.

“Ever since her passing we have wanted to have a permanent memorial for everything she gave our young people, but a memorial she would be proud of.

“We feel that Outdoors in the City, something she and I talked about when it was just a dream, which will continue to introduce disadvantaged and disaffected young people to the great outdoors, passing on the values that Brede taught us, will be a livnng memorial to her inspirational life.”