Whilst delivering food to many of the refuges and hostels across Grays, it has been mentioned to me a number of times that they don’t want or need food that needs to be cooked as ‘they don’t like to cook’!
Whilst delivering food to a homeless women and children’s unit recently, I started talking about food and cooking with some of the residents, who promptly asked whether I would teach them to cook some simple recipes, after about a minute’s consideration-I said Yes!
Morrisons in Grays have been donating food to me for donation on to these hostels among other beneficiaries, so I wanted to include them. I have been working closely with Tarnya Bennett-Morrisons Community Champion for Grays (see picture) and she was happy to be involved in this project, even offering to buy most of the ingredients and print off the recipes.
I also had a conversation with a former colleague-Graeme Collie Head of Commercial Catering at South Essex College (SEC) and he was also very keen to be part of this project.
Week 1 of the project was about some basic ideas and I took a small group of ladies through making a basic tomato pasta sauce, then showing them one of the uses as we turned it into a cheesy pasta bake (pictured below). We discussed alternative ingredients and uses for the pasta sauce including how you could disguise vegetables in the sauce for fussy eaters.
They have requested that I show them how to make Carrot Cake Cupcakes for Week 2. I am looking forward to it. SEC will take over from me as cookery teacher after Wk 2 and I know that they have some exciting ideas to teach everyone.
A small team of Riverside Community Big Local volunteers spent Sunday morning picking litter from the piece of land along Bridge Road known as Falconwood.
Working with local residents and organisations the Big Local plans to create a Pocket Park on this previously un-cared for land.
As part of these plans the Big Local thinned out some of the dead and dangerous trees and started to level off the land. The levelling off revealed a large amount of rubbish that had been buried for many years.
In all volunteers collected 24 sacks of cans, bottles and other rubbish – as well as a number of larger items of rubbish.
Chair of the Riverside Community Big Local, Andy Blakey, said;
“Falconwood is a hidden gem and we plan to work with residents to make it a really pleasant place for people to enjoy. It time, we will look to put some appropriate seating and other amenities but – for now – the efforts of volunteers on Sunday has made to the area that bit nicer to look at and walk through.
“Thanks to Steve, Anton, Jacqueline and John for giving their time and to Thurrock Council for disposing of the rubbish collected.”
When local paramedic Neil Ruch sadly died from Covid 19 in May, his colleagues wanted to create a memorial garden for him.
Riverside Community heard about this and offered to help. Local construction companies came forward to help to create an area at the rear of the Hogg Lane ambulance station, including a patio and some raised beds.
All they needed now was some plants……and some know-how!
Just 3 hours and a dozen volunteers later and a Caribbean island had been created, the perfect place for paramedics to relax in between calls. Ok, the fantastic mural was created sometime earlier but the rest was completed in that short time.
Riverside Community Big Local working with Smiths Orchard Garden Centre have provided the compost, topsoil and all of the plants to complete the planned sensory and wildlife-friendly area which is being completed with bird table and feeders.
The paramedics have worked out a watering rota to keep the garden looking its best, although I don’t think even the rain would spoil this lovely sunny garden spot.
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This fella works at the London Borough of Camden. Up to a week or so ago he was fit, played football a couple of times a week. He is the head of repairs and has coronavirus 19. He wants people to know what it’s like and why we should be complying with the government advice. Please pass on so people get the seriousness of coronavirus.
The England Illegal
Money Lending Team (IMLT)
recognise that this period may be one of high financial pressure for many
people, and is fully committed to ensuring that illegal money lenders (loan
sharks) do not take advantage and profit from other people’s hardship.
The Stop Loan
Sharks helpline service (0300 555 2222) remains open and fully operational
during the COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage not only victims but also friends,
family members and the wider community to come forward if they suspect someone
is suffering at the hands of loan sharks. A victim of a loan shark should
contact the team for help. Visit the website
here for more info and support
Following on from last Saturday’s massive rubbish haul at
the Concrete barges following Storm Dennis, our next event is at Grays Beach on
Come along and earn you free bacon roll and coffee!
As always old weather appropriate clothes, sturdy footwear
and lots of enthusiasm are all you need to bring.
Meeting at Thurrock Yacht Club at 10:30 we will supply “all
the plastic rubbish you can pick” and any equipment that you will need!
Sunday 1st March – meeting at Grays Yacht Club RM17 6JF at 10:30 to 12:00
followed by free refreshments in the café. Grays Beachcombers is a monthly Thames21 River Action Group family friendly event suitable for accompanied children 6
years and older.
5th March – meeting at
Purfleet Railway Station RM19 1PP at 10:30 to 12:30. We will be picking
primarily plastic bottles on the other side of the seawall and bringing them
back to the road for collection. This event will include climbing fixed ladders over the 2m high seawall so comfortable
walking shoes/boots are essential. This is an adult only Thames21 River Action
Group event. – New Event
March – meeting at old St Clements
Church RM20 4AL at 10:00 to 14:00. We will be picking along to the QE2 Bridge
with Coca Cola employees. This event will include
up to 4 miles walking so comfortable walking shoes/boots are essential. This is
an adult only Thames21 River Action Group event. – New Event
Saturday 14th March – meeting in John Street RM17 6ED at 09:00 to 12:00. This
is the regular Orchard Forum back alley clean-up. All welcome especially local
25th March – meeting at
old St Clements Church RM20 4AL at 10:30 to 13:30. We will be picking along the
Graffiti Wall. This event will include up
to 4 miles walking so comfortable walking shoes/boots are recommended. This is
an adult only Thames21 River Action Group event and forms part of the Great
British Spring Clean.
1st April – meeting at St.
Margaret’s Avenue SS17 0SH to pick Mucking Creek at 10:30 to 13:30. This is an
adult only Thames21 River Action Group event
and forms part of the Great British Spring Clean.
April – meeting at Grays
Yacht Club RM17 6JF at 10:30 to 12:00 followed by free refreshments in the
café. Grays Beachcombers is a monthly
Thames21 River Action Group family friendly event
suitable for accompanied children 6 ye