Hogacre’s Wild Wallow aims to address the health and well-being outcomes of children, through environmental education and social connectedness. Based on the Hogacre Eco Park, very close to the Oxgrow Allotment, the project started in autumn 2020. This will be our first visit to help them.
The Wild Wallow team have asked us to help clear and sort out their area: A lot of large items are currently dumped at the entrance to the project's site (tables, chairs, palettes) and will ultimately need to be carried out of the Eco Park over the railway bridge to a skip. The skip might not be ready on our first visit, in which case we'll sort the items this time and return on a future date to fill the skip.
Please bring sturdy gloves (gardening gloves will be perfect).
Directions: Turn off the Abingdon Road down Whitehouse Road. As the road bends to the right you will see a pedestrian lane straight ahead between the nursery and the recreation ground. Head down the lane and over the railway bridge, then bear right as you enter Hogacre Common. You will see the Oxgrow Community Allotment fencing. We will meet by the Oxgrow allotment.
A quartet of GoodGym gardeners joined the Flo's gardening team to get some work done in the outside space ahead of the cafe restarting outdoor dining next week.
We dismantled a dried out willow fence, moved picnic benches into place, put together parasol bases, set up a freecycle station, flattened and recycled a pile of cardboard, planted lavender, chopped back (but failed to dig up - as testified by the bent fork prong) a bush in the flower bed, and started the process of weaving new willow fronds to create a new flowerbed fence.
We now consider ourselves East Oxford's premier willow weaving experts.
Sadly, we failed to avoid snow and hail, but since we also had plenty of sunshine we'll call it a draw.
Hot drinks on-the-house were a delightful perk - thank you for a lovely couple of hours Flo's!
The Children's allotment have requested our help on a monthy basis in 2021.
Come along and help the progress at one of our favourite places.
We will meet by the Halal butchers on Cricket Road and then walk round the corner to the allotment together.
Tasks usually include pruning, wood-chipping, gardening, clearing weeds etc.
Tools will be provided but please bring your own gardening gloves.
Wow, Louise has completed a 12 month mission streak. That means they've cleared gardens, moved furniture and changed light bulbs in spring, summer, autumn and even winter. Show your support and give them a massive cheer!
Yesterday was our 24th consecutive Wednesday packing and delivering food parcels for Oxford Mutual Aid. We packed 49 parcels and delivered 30 of them, helping approximately 70 people.
The graph picture shows the number of food parcels we’ve prepared each Wednesday session going back to our first one at the end of October last year. What it doesn’t show is our small team’s dedication to helping distribute the much needed food:
We have packed over 900 parcels on Wednesdays, delivered an estimated 600+, walked hundreds of miles between us to deliver food, chatted on the doorstep to lonely people, and got to know the food preferences of strangers.
GoodGymers have turned up to help on cold, dark nights, in rain, ice and snow, supported each other throughout winter lockdown and welcomed new members of the team. We haven’t taken a week off, because hunger doesn’t stop.
Our superstar GoodGym Oxford crew do Saturday and Sunday shifts at Oxford Mutual Aid too (we just don’t have stats and graphs for those!), have helped out on Christmas Day and bank holiday weekends, not to mention Rob raising incredible sums of money to replenish OMA coffers.
A report released by the Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee yesterday estimated that up to 5.9 million adults and 1.7 million children experienced food poverty or insecurity in the six months to February. Those statistics are appalling, but they're also just numbers easily scrolled past. Knowing that people on your street, in your neighbourhood, in your town can't afford essential food and are calling for help shows the human impact behind the numbers.
As COVID restrictions lift a little next week we will adjust our way of working with Oxford Mutual Aid to a system which allows us time to also help other community projects who are reaching out to us. So, it’s an end to Wednesdays as we’ve known them for the last 24 weeks, but certainly not an end to working with Oxford Mutual Aid. We'll still be packing food parcels but making fewer deliveries.
At this pivot point I wanted to say how proud I’ve been of Goodgym Oxford members. We’ve been able to muster around 30 helpers every week through some very difficult weeks without ever having to beg or cajole. You’ve seen the need and met it.
Thank you ♥️
On 19th September join an attempt to have the most virtual 10ks run across the world.
This is how it works (from the Virtual Runner website)
you can run anywhere in the world.
if you feel like it, join the exclusive running group on Facebook (optional).
on the day of the run, record your run with a running app or watch and upload a screenshot or photo to our running portal.
after the run, you will receive your certificate to download and we will send you your medal (if you have added it) within 24 hours.
All details and the entry links are here
There are options to enter with or without getting a medal.
Flo's The Place in the Park have asked if 4 GoodGymers can help them with a garden 'clean and sort out' on Sunday 11th April. Tasks will include weeding, planting and willow weaving.
This is step one towards making the garden space a haven for people and wildlife. We plan to help regularly with the project.
Please bring your own gardening gloves. Tools will be provided.
Boundary Brook Nature Park was created in 1990 when a group of community wildlife enthusiasts rescued a plot of disused allotments to carve out a wild space in the heart of East Oxford.
Featuring mixed woodland, meadow, a nature pond and butterfly glade, Boundary Brook is home to a rich variety of wildlife from birds and butterflies to frogs and foxes.
Oxford Urban Wildlife Group have asked for our help to with a mixture of tasks as they start reopening the site, including seeding grassland and building paths.
We will split into smaller groups of 8 or less to work on tasks in different areas of the Nature Park. We will also have the litter pickers with us for a small group of 6-8 people to clear up the surrounding walk and cycle way. There is plenty of space to spread out and maintain social distancing.
Please bring your own gardening gloves. Tools and litter pickers will be provided.
If you want to jog over to Boundary Brook please meet at Oxford Mutual Aid at 6pm (Richard Benson Hall, Cowley Road). If you want to meet us at the task meeting point is outside the gate to Boundary Brook Nature Park, which is on the cycle way just past Larkrise Primary School at the end of Boundary Brook Road. We will be there by 6:15pm
This week we will split between 2 tasks again.
We're now into our 6th consecutive month of Wednesdays at Oxford Mutual Aid, and the majority of our Wednesday team are still needed for food deliveries. It's proved to be a valuable partnership for us and provided crucial extra help for Oxford Mutual Aid through this COVID lockdown winter. It has kept us busy and connected with each other, and enabled Oxford Mutual Aid reach more people with deliveries of food and other essentials.
This 6pm task will be delivering food parcels within walking distance of Richard Benson Hall. We will divide into small groups to deliver in different areas. No-one will be asked to deliver on their own. With the slight easing of restrictions the rule of 6 now applies, so delivery groups can be slightly larger. The clock change will mean we will have daylight so I might bring the litter pickers too.
Please wear a mask when you arrive at the hall to collect the food parcels and when you drop them off with the recipient.
There is a 2nd listing for this evening for 6 people to help The Children’s Allotment, do check that out and take your pick between the 2 tasks.
Last night Oxford Mutual Aid was a hive of activity!
First we packed:
- 6 Emergency Food Parcels (for 10 adults, plus children) to get some food to people who have run out.
- 40 regular parcels (for 54 adults), full of food, cleaning supplies, toiletries, and baby stuff.
Next we loaded up 4 cars for motorised delivery routes, and restocked the shelves as much as possible.
Then, the big event....23 GoodGymers, plus GoodGym mascot Peggy the pooch, flexed their biceps and stretched their legs to deliver 32 parcels of essentials on foot and by bicycle.
With more than one delivery per GoodGymer there was quite a bit of to-ing and fro-ing around East Oxford, and even those without a double delivery found themselves loaded up to the gills with carrier bags. Gold stars to all those who brought rucksacks and bike panniers so that they could fit even more on their delivery route, and kudos to Ben and Georgia who managed to transport 6 bags full of goodies all the way to Marston - 1.8 miles by my calculation!
We might be out of the strictest lockdown measures for now, but the demand for food help isn't dropping. In fact tonight we had more emergency deliveries than we've had for a few weeks, and last week emergency requests for food support were at an all time high: 94 emergency food parcels were sent out over the course of the week, alongside all the regular food deliveries. An astonishing feat for a team of volunteers.
Thank you to Ruth for the donation of toiletries and to Lorenzo for the Ramadan goodies.
Welcome Lena - good to meet you!
Welcome back Annabel - lovely to see you for the first time since becoming a Mum. Hope you can make it back again soon.