Spring is – well – not quite sprung – but certainly near enough for the team from East Oxford Good Neighbours to start springing into action.
Last week the Management Committee got together to start planning the year ahead – more about that later – and this Saturday we made a return trip to the Fulbrook Centre at the Churchill Hospital.
A team of eight volunteers from Oxford University and the local area came along. Whilst some did some much-needed weeding and pruning; planted spring bedding and dressed borders with bark mulch, others got to work sanding and painting benches.
All that hard work was rewarded by the knowledge of a job well done and the now traditional pizza – this time thanks to the Co-op.
Thanks, too, to the folks at Blanchfords who generously supplied the stain and brushes which we used to revive the benches.
Last Saturday, a team of five Oxford University students, two visiting Americans, Ali (who knows what she’s doing) and Helen (who doesn’t, but has a car) met up at East Oxford Community Centre and headed up to the Churchill Hospital.
This was the sight that met us at Blenheim Ward – a sadly overgrown garden in desperate need of a haircut and a good dose East Oxford tlc.
Let gardening commence!
Armed with bags, barrows, an assortment of brushes, rakes and clipper and the prospect of free pizza, the team got stuck in.
The battle of the buddleia
Helen and Sarah tackled the buddleia – you wouldn’t believe how much buddleia there was!
Well – almost! Just time to pop some bulbs in, grab some pizza and pose for a team photo. We’ll be back in the spring!
Before we tell you about the amazing work by our volunteers at the Churchill’s Blenheim Ward on Saturday, we just want to say a great big thank you to those wonderful people at Domino’s in Headington who donated four pizzas to our hungry team.
A lovely gesture of support from a local business, which was greatly appreciated.
On Saturday, graden guru Ali and a team of six students from the Oxford Hub headed off to the Fulbrook Centre at the Churchill Hospital for phase I of our biggest garden challenge to date – transforming an overgrown patch into a therapeutic, nature-friendly garden for the elderly patients. Huge thanks to Sarah, from The Fulbrook, for making it all happen and the local supermarket for providing sandwiches and pizza for the team.
We took some photos …
The flowering currant has taken over and the forsythia is branching out here there everywhere. Is there a window behind all that?
The Alder tree can stay but the central bed it sits in is overgrown.
Oh no! Bamboo! Anything but bamboo!
We love a challenge!
Ffion makes an executive decision to rake up all the leaves discarded by the Alder. Good thinking!!
“What about the snails?”
Ruqayah –gets tough with an old root. “This pick is better than the spade, guys!”
Miranda is on a wheel barrow run to the tipping area outside. She decides she’ll get more in the barrow if she chops the branches up. Ruqayah perseveres with that root.
This cradle is falling apart – Ffion and Sarah give it a helping hand –rip, splinter – oh what larks!
After a well-earned lunch of pizza sandwiches donated by the local supermarkets, the volunteers plant a few bulbs to brighten the place up in the New Year.
A few months ago, we were approached by Oxford Health Trust to see whether we could help bring some life back to a couple of gardens attached to the Fulbrook Centre at Oxford’s Churchill Hospital.
The Fulbrook Centre provide rehabilitation and therapeutic services for older people and is keen to make the gardens available to patients as part of their therapy. Could we help?
We thought that this was a brilliant – if daunting – project and said that we would love to help.
Our garden guru Ali, got together with Sandra, who runs one of the wards and between them they came up with a nature-friendly garden plan aimed at the patients’ well-being and sensory experiences. Ali proposed a wild flower area, whilst Sandra suggested a new crab apple tree –both attract bees and butterflies.
At the moment, though, both gardens are a bit overgrown, so the first task would be to do a huge clear-up. Fortunately, our team of volunteers from The Oxford Hub were up for the challenge!
Have you been into your garden shed or garage recently and noticed any garden tools that you don’t use, have six of or can’t even remember what exactly they’re for? If so, East Oxford Good Neighbours would love to hear from you. Our student volunteers are great on energy and enthusiasm, but are a bit short on spades, rakes, clippers and forks (the digging kind).
If you live in Oxford and have tools that we might be able to use, Just contact us on email@example.com – we can arrange to collect within the Oxford Ring Road.