Community mission

A Little Help for the Lovely Peeps at Blackwall Pocket Park

5 runners ran to help their local community in Greenwich.

  • Alex Murtough
  • Greenwich runner
  • Sara Brimble
  • Claire Oxlade
  • Rachel Henry
Sunday, 11th of April 2021
Led by Rachel Henry

I didn't know what a pocket park was until today.

As I trundled over to East Greenwich, anxiety chimed through me. And it caused my mind to race.

One by one, my mind went through my wardrobe. My running shorts had small pockets for essential items like 2-3 Maltesers or Smarties, whilst my trousers and jeans had pouches that could fit (at a push) a whole lunch of 5 or so Kit Kats. But even in my large-pocketed dungarees, I'd only ever managed to fit a medium-sized Easter egg.

I just didn't know how we were all going to fit into this pocket park. Especially with social distancing. I stopped my running to eat a Malteser to calm my thoughts. A stranger walked past and I asked them "COULD YOU FIT 5 PEOPLE IN YOUR POCKET?" Just the thought made them anxious and they ran away.

But this is the wonderful thing about GoodGym - you learn important things. Things you would never know otherwise. For a pocket park, contrary to all linguistic common sense, isn't actually housed in a pocket. There aren't (and I did ask) any pockets there at all. It apparently means 'small'. And everyone agreed that 'small park' didn't sound that great.

Anyway, you, like me, have now had the veil of ignorance lifted. And you'll be glad that it has, for the wonderful Blackwall Pocket Park is becoming something delightfully wonderful. The indefatigable Philippa has set her eyes on three spots of underloved and forgotten roadside greenery and is bringing the community together to transform them into urban meadows and butterfly gardens. Truly awesome.

And our merry crew of 5 good-deeders played our first part in helping on this journey today. Good-deeding supremos Claire, Marta, Rachel, and Sara (and I tagged along too) got straight to 90 minutes of non-stop litter picking. The land, which sits on the approach to the Blackwall Tunnel, has become a bit of a dumping ground. It's almost, and so very sadly, as if the rubbish is bedded into the ground. Philippa told us about how she'd found a wrapper for a 'Marathon' bar the other day - which, if you're curious, went out of circulation in 1990...

Along the way, we nattered and caught up, with many of us talking about life starting to turn its corner back towards something more normal. It was a treat to spend the time together. And we wrapped up our final bin bags (about 10-12 in total) as the afternoon sun was starting on its descent towards twilight. An afternoon well spent, and hopefully one we'll be able to repeat as we lend more helping hands to this wonderful project soon.

Nice one.

Report written by Alex Murtough

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Rachel Henry
Led by Rachel Henry

Area Activator at GoodGym Greenwich. I love community and getting to know all the great initiatives and people that make it what it is!

Runners helping out
  • Report Writer

    Will be in charge of writing the run report

    • Alex Murtough

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