Mud over Mattock

5 Goodgymers helped their local community in Ealing
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Saturday 18th March 2023

Report written by Kash

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Five GoodGymers followed the clues from Southall Community Alliance to arrive at an inconspicuous location of a future community garden. Once they noticed an entrance to a muddy place looking a bit like a building site with balloons and a person with a litter picker in front of it, they knew where is the party spot. And indeed, the event started in a party style! The organisers of the community cleanup day from Southall Community Alliance and Southall Transition warmly welcomed GoodGymers, with tea, coffee, fruit, biscuits and other snacks - including delicious pakoras and samosas ๐Ÿ˜‹

Janpal from the SCA gave us a briefing about the site that had been untouched and bramble-ridden for over 30 years. He missed the chance to draw from his arsenal of weather-related jokes in his speech as the rain just ceased. We learned about the Western Road Urban Garden Project and the plans for creating a polytunnel where the community can grow food.

Harvey, Sevan, Kash and Madhan chose the digging work by the fence where, on Sunday, the volunteers were going to plant trees (GoodGym is going to be there too!). Milly joined the LAGER Can folk and chose a litter picker as her weapon against the waste: the one visible in plain sight and the other excavated by the rest of us. We initially chose shovels to uncover the layers of history below the future urban garden. Soon we found out that mattocks are superior for digging all the rocks, bricks, glass, plastic foil, rusty bars and garden tools that have seen better days. The evidence we gathered confirmed the claims of a horticultural civilisation inhabiting the area in the past. We almost saw the forgotten allotments with their polytunnels and greenhouses as if they still existed, with their owners digging, shovelling, planting, and doing other GoodGymmy stuff. Historic gardening artefacts were not the only findings. Apart from the countless bottles, Madhan discovered interesting objects like an elephant figurine ๐Ÿ˜

Halfway through the task, we paused the hard work and philosophical chats with the other volunteers. It was break time โณ, and again we were invited to treat ourselves to tea, coffee, fruit, biscuits and other snacks - including delicious pakoras and samosas, mmmmm ๐Ÿ˜‹ It was a great time to meet other people who came to help out on the day. We resumed our tasks after the refreshment only to get damp immediately - as soon as we left the covered area, the rain started! ๐ŸŒง๏ธ It was not strong though, and couldn't discourage us from our GoodGymming. Most of us stayed till the very end of the event which ended with a photo session! There were three phones and one traditional camera used - we all remained in place patiently so that everyone could get their group photo. And say "peregrine falcon" instead of "cheese".

Today's session was a fun and rewarding activity and a chance to make a visible difference, make new connections and spread the word of GoodGym in Southall. We enjoyed it so much that we are going to show up the following day to help plant trees in the community garden.

Session Leader
Area activator
This task supported
Southall Community Alliance
Serving the Community

Supporting disadvantaged community organisations in Southall and developing local community cohesion work, empowering and informing residents and community groups about local issues

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Harvey Gallagher
Join us on our next session


GROUP WALK: give Acton school a manu-cu-re
๐Ÿ—“Tomorrow 6:45pm

Helping Cultivate London with their green projects across Ealing

2 GoodGymers are going

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