We were sorry to hear about the recent death of Eileen M. of St Clement’s, who we visited just only last month.
Her neighbour Maggie contacted us a few months ago about getting some garden help for Eileen. A team went along on 18th May and had a lovely session working on Eileen’s front and back garden.
Sadly, Eileen passed away only a few weeks later.
Ali contacted her kind neighbour Maggie and suggested using flowers and foliage from Eileen’s garden to make a personal funeral tribute for her. The heart-shaped wreath was complemented by some lovely white roses supplied by Maggie.
At the funeral gathering, Eileen’s daughter, Tara, told Ali how much joy having her garden had brought to her mother during her last few days and how amazed Eileen had been at the happiness of the young volunteers who worked so hard that day.
The flower heart brought great comfort to Tara and Maggie on the day of the funeral, especially with the lavender, privet flower and yellow hypericum in it.
Ali writes, “The good neighbour garden project can help people in different ways –in this case it gave an elderly lady peace of mind that her garden once again was looking so nice!! Maggie is a shining example of what a good neighbour should be, as she worked tirelessly to clear the house, organise the funeral and find a loving home for Eileen’s dog, Honey!”
June is a busy month for gardens, so last Saturday found our volunteers dodging the rain and braving the sub-zero temperatures to help local pensioner J. bring some happiness to his bungalow.
J. had already made a start on the weeds in his back borders, so the Team finished the job and tackled more weeds in the paved area. Ali had helped J. buy some summer plants, so after a quick lesson in how to plant things (“mix compost, dig hole, put compost in hole, put plants in compost”) and J’s troughs were soon planted up. It’ll be a great show in a few weeks from now (if it doesn’t snow).
When we got a call from a lady about E. – a neighbour who need some help with her garden, gardening guru Ali was on the phone in no time to fix up an assessment visit. It was a fairly straight forward job – a lawnmower to sort out the front lawn and some volunteers with hand tools and elbow grease to tackle the rest.
On Saturday, Oxford University students Amira, Bronwyn, Brigitte and Betty took time out from their studies to do some gardening and discuss the prospects for that evening’s Eurovision Song Contest.
Clearing the patio is a painstaking job, but there were no complaints.
With lawn cut, patio cleared and hedges clipped, it just remains to put everything into the brown bin ready to be collected for recycling and turned into compost to enrich another garden.
After helping Ali load the tools in the car, the volunteers head home. E. thanks Ali and says she can’t get over how enthusiastic and happy Bronwyn, Amira, Brigitte and Betty were while working on such a dirty, unexciting chore… for a complete stranger.
When those lovely people at O2 Academy – Cowley Road’s hottest live music venue – heard about the terrific work that our student volunteers have been doing, the decided to say a small “thank you” on behalf of the community by donating vouchers for two free tickets to our most dedicated volunteers.