We have 2 tasks tonight. This is the early shift at Oxford Mutual Aid, and there will also be another task in South Park at 6:15pm. It would be feasible to make it to both if you want a full evening of GoodGyming.
We will be based inside Richard Benson Hall preparing food parcels in the food bank and helping the delivery drivers load them into their cars. We will do some restocking of the shelves too if there's time.
Please wear a mask. Anwen will be at the hall from about 4pm, so feel free to turn up any time between 4pm and 4:30pm.
We've been asked to tackle a few tasks at the top of South Park to make it safer and more pleasant for everyone.
Jobs will include:
* Raking up fallen leaves.
* Clearing the park railings of ivy (revisiting our first ever GoodGym task!).
The ivy covering the railings is a safety issue at this end of the park - since the park is open 24 hours it would be much safer for people using the path if they could see into the park before entering, particularly in the dark.
* Litter picking along Morrell Avenue/Cheney Lane.
Bring your gardening gloves and head torches. We'll bring the GoodGym litter pickers and lights, and the Distillery will provide some other tools.
The Oxford Artisan Distillery has offered a complimentary G&T or soft drink to all GoodGymers taking part in this task. Please wear your GoodGym Tshirt if you have one so it's easy to identify who is a GoodGym volunteer.
* Anyone wishing to run or walk to the task as a group please meet in the car park of the Richard Benson Hall, 276b Cowley Rd at 6pm. There won’t be a bag drop available but we can use the toilets there. It's under a mile to the top of South Park from there. NB: due to the social after the task there won't be a run back to Cowley Road this week.
* If you would prefer to meet at the task please meet us at 6:15pm outside the gate of The Oxford Artisan Distillery.
As we head into autumn we're getting bulbs in the ground for some spring cheeriness.
Nothing lifts the spirits like the first flowers of spring, and autumn is the time to get bulbs in the ground. We will plant bulbs in Marston this evening on the request of Marston Community Gardeners. This is the 2nd of 3 sessions we have planned for bulb planting this year - we’ll be quite the pros by the end of October! It'll be fun to revisit in the spring to check them out in flower - hopefully next year we won't be in lockdown and will actually be able to.
Some tools will be provided but bring your own gardening gloves, and if you are able to bring a trowel or bulb planter it would be a great help. As the evenings are drawing in I suggest hi-vis for runners if you have them, and headtorches would be helpful for everyone. I'll bring our portable lights and a couple of spare head torches.
* Anyone wishing to run to the task as a group please meet in the car park of the Richard Benson Hall, 276b Cowley Rd at 5:45pm. There will just be a running group this week as it is a little too far to get to Marston in time if we walk. There won’t be a bag drop available.
* If you would prefer to meet at the task please meet us at 6:15pm outside the CoOp on Old Marston Road.
Sarah is a now a fully fledged GoodGym runner. They've just run to do good for the first time. They are out there making amazing things happen and getting fit at the same time.
ARK-T centre is a community-minded arts centre and the home of the Waste 2 Taste cafe. Along the side of the centre it has a playground space which is open for members of the public to use every day. Over the summer months the play space has been heavily used, and has also attracted some anti-social behaviour, so the space had to be closed for a couple of weeks to tidy-up. We've been called in by Ark-T a couple of times previously at this time of year to help get the play space ship-shape, so we're old hands at it now.
While 4 of us disappeared off to get extra tools and a wheelbarrow from the Waste2Taste garden all of the other GoodGymers got straight to work weeding, digging out mushrooms (best not to take risks on whether they're the poisonous kind or not!), clearing out the storage benches (SO much rotten wood and heaps of wellies inside), and pruning back the buddleia and willow which were eye-level hazards.
The litter picker team whizzed around the playground, along the lane and plogged the surrounding roads, striking gold early on with a bucket (repurposed for our garden waste) and an onion, as well as the usual cans and (literal) crap.
Back in the playground we rigged up our portable lights and deployed the head torches to keep going as the daylight faded. Leaves swept up, brown garden waste bin filled and several trugs of gardening detritus and plastic tubing were piled up ready for the skip which will be arriving soon.
I call that a highly effective hour's work - Great work dream team!
As the nights get darker we're moving over to tasks in well-lit areas. Tonight we will be heading to a task we've done a couple of times before at this time of year at the Ark-T Centre. The Ark-T Play space gets heavy use over the summer months, and when it gets to this time of year it's always in need of a tidy up. We will be weeding, pruning, sweeping and generally giving it a thorough autumn clear up.
We will have tools, portable lights and litter pickers, but if you have a head torch do bring it along. Gardening gloves will also be useful.
* Anyone wishing to run to the task as a group please meet in the car park of the Richard Benson Hall, 276b Cowley Rd at 6pm. There won’t be a bag drop available but we can use the toilets there. It's a little over a mile to Ark-T from there.
* If you would prefer to meet at the task please meet us at 6:15pm at the Ark-T Centre