A really great day and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves working with The Challenge/NCS youth volunteers. Everyone worked so hard and enthusiastically to clear brambles, cut back shrubs encroaching on the pathways and then to deliver over 1,000 flyers to homes in the neighbourhood. All their hard work has given us a real boost. Thank you!
We first met the 15 to 17 year old NCS volunteers on the 4th August for a tour of the park, explaining the aims of “The Friends”, the importance of the park to the local community and to discuss the nature of “their challenge”. The overgrown brambles, shrubs, holly, nettles and sycamore saplings were identified for pruning and a leaflet about the FOEP would be distributed within the local community. Jonathan Bangs, The Parks Outreach Officer, provided a briefing on Health & Safety issues. FOEP would borrow equipment (secateurs, loppers, sturdy gloves and rakes) from the The Parks and Open Spaces of Royal Greenwich. For information regarding the NCS and The Challenge, see previous posting “Meeting the Challenge”.
On Sunday 7th September 13 youth volunteers arrived and divided into 2 groups – a gardening team and a leaflet distribution team. The groups would then swap over for the afternoon session. I think some thought that delivering leaflets might be the easier task to start the day, but perhaps they were not aware of the long, steep and winding roads!
So armed with tools/gloves and leaflets and maps the two teams set off. Shortly after they began, we were joined by another team of volunteers! Unfortunately for that team their assignment had been cancelled at the last minute and we we asked if we would like extra pairs of hands! It was marvellous for FOEP, but I hope not too disappointing for the second group! The pathways were
becoming hazardous with low and overhanging branches of holly, hawthorn and acacia trees (with their spiky thorns or leaves!). The brambles and nettles were not very friendly either, but everyone entered into it with such energy and enthusiasm and a great deal of lively talking and laughter.
What a Transformation!
‘before’ and ‘after’
A Very Successful and Enjoyable Day !
If you do visit the pond area, we would be pleased to know what you think about the ‘new look’ and safer pathways.