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.
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.