...AND WE'RE BACK ON THE SATURDAY SHIFT!
After a couple of weeks off over the Christmas period we returned to our Saturday food bank shift this week. New Year, but same challenges getting enough volunteers to meet the rising need at the food bank! With many people self-isolating due to COVID infection, as well as the seasonal rise in demand as people struggle to afford to heat their homes and put food on the table, the parcel packing sheet was as full as ever.
After a quick briefing we set to work as quickly as possible to finish preparing the dozens of regular parcels due to leave at 4:30pm, as well as the significant number of emergency requests.
Happy to report that we were all set by the time the van arrived to collect the 2nd lot of deliveries for the day, and we even had time to sort some stock, check over the fresh fruit and veg, organise the fridges, and a bit of cleaning and restocking.
Well done team - another really useful couple of hours' work which will have a huge impact on those struggling in our community.
Oxford Mutual Aid have asked for a GoodGym flash mob at the Richard Benson Hall food bank tonight.
There’s lots to do:
* Portioning out bulk bags of rice, pasta, and chickpeas.
* Restocking the food shelves.
* Sorting through the fresh food and throwing out food waste.
* Breaking down cardboard boxes.
* Helping load up food parcels for delivery.
We ask that you wear a mask inside the food bank.
Tonight we will meet at the task - Richard Benson Hall, 276b Cowley Rd - at 6pm. It’s next door to St Mary & St John church. There won’t be a run to the task but there will be a 5k run after we finish at the food bank. We’ll also provide a run-walk option for those starting Couch-2-5k this month. All welcome, so come in your running kit if you fancy a social run.
Last night we started 2022 as we mean to go on, helping the food bank and litter picking some of the city grot spots!
Heading West for the first time in a few months we planned to tackle the Osney Mead/Botley Road litter. Although we don't get out that way regularly we're still familiar with some of the favourite dumping grounds: around any park bench (even if there's a bin right next to it), car parks, and bushy hedge are surefire litter gold mines. Our 3 teams set off in different directions - forming a pincer movement from each end of the Osney Mead Industrial Estate, with the 3rd group cleaning up the known dumping ground in the small park next to the bridge. Sure enough, we were soon laden with gin bottles (some fancy artisan gin drinkers in Oxford green spaces), clothing, cans, takeaway containers, newspapers (old skool!), the ever-present masks, even a pair of steel toe-cap boots and a trolley!
An hour of litter picking in freezing temperatures yielded over 20 sacks of trash. We came away thinking that it's high time the UK stole Rwanda's system of Umuganda: "Umuganda is a national holiday in Rwanda taking place on the last Saturday of every month for a morning of mandatory nationwide community work. Participation in umuganda is required by law, and has resulted in notable improvement in the cleanliness of Rwanda."
Welcome to GoodGym Chris!
Meeting at the Headington Road shops, this route will take us towards Shotover through the CS Lewis Nature Reserve.
It will be muddy so appropriate footwear is recommended!
The route is about 9.5km, bring some sandwiches for a lunch break at the top of Shotover Park. The route should take about 2.5 - 3 hours including lunch.
Meet: outside the costa coffee at the Headington road shops crossroads. There should be some bike racks at the Waitrose nearby.
Time: meet at 10:45 to set off by 11:00.
View the route: https://onthegomap.com/s/m3iep558
A cycle from Oxford to Woodstock (9.5miles) followed by a run around Blenheim Palace (3-6miles) along the public footpath. We'll then have lunch back in the village before returning to Oxford.
For those just doing the run, meet at Woodstock Town Hall at 11:30am.
This is very much a social session so cyclists and runners of all abilities are welcome and we will pace accordingly.
Meet at the Ashmolean Museum (OX1 2PH) at 10:30am.