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.
Dolly is bagging another bottle. Even Storm Francis couldn’t dampen her enthusiasm last Tuesday.
Dolly is 6 years old and is very keen to clear up the rubbish around the Thames as she has learnt about it at school.
She loved the day with all of the volunteers, making friends with everyone. Her big sister said her favourite find was the “wand” which was actually a weird looking fork haha!
Together with a little help from the other volunteers, Dolly filled 31 sacks including 223 single use plastic bottles.
Steve Catchpole said “I am looking forward to seeing Dolly and all the other volunteers at a future event very soon.”
Saturday 26th September – Friends of North Thames Estuary – meeting at the Tilbury Fort, Tilbury RM18 7NR – 10:30 to 13:30. If you have your own equipment, picker, hoop, gloves, face mask and sturdy walking shoes, please bring them. We will be walking at least 3 miles collecting river rubbish along the foreshore – Limited facilities available – 8 places available.
Sunday 4th October – Friends of Grays Beachcombers – meeting at Thurrock Yacht Club, Grays RM17 6JF at 10:30 until 12:00. Foreshore tidy. If you have your own equipment, picker, hoop, gloves and face mask please also bring along sanitising hand wash. – Limited facilities are available – FULLY BOOKED.
Sunday 8th November – Friends of Grays Beachcombers – meeting at Thurrock Yacht Club, Grays RM17 6JF at 10:30 until 12:00. Foreshore tidy. If you have your own equipment, picker, hoop, gloves and face mask please also bring along sanitising hand wash. – Limited facilities are available – Only 6 places available. Please note the alternative date.
Sunday 6th December – Friends of Grays Beachcombers – meeting at Thurrock Yacht Club, Grays RM17 6JF at 10:30 until 12:00. Foreshore tidy. If you have your own equipment, picker, hoop, gloves and face mask please also bring along sanitising hand wash. – Limited facilities are available – 14 places available.
During these strange times pre-booking is critical. Do not attend unless I have confirmed your places.
Volunteers have been working hard to brighten up the area around the Lightship Cafe at Grays Beach Park.
Led by local resident, Tricia Nicholls, new ornamental planters have been filled with plants and flowers and work has started on maintaining other planted areas.
Chair of the Lightship Cafe CIC, Tina Macklin, said;
“The Lightship Cafe relies on our dedicated volunteers to keep going. Tricia has recently joined us and has done a fantastic job brightening up the area outside the cafe.
Owing to Covid, we haven’t been able to do as much as we would have liked and have started late in the year – with Tricia’s help I am sure we will have a stunning floral display right through next summer.
Chair of the Riverside Community Big Local, which supports the Lightship Cafe added;
“We had a generous grant from Thurrock Council’s Community Environmental Development Fund to buy new, self watering, ornamental planters for the park. They are looking really good and the feedback from park users has been really positive.”
Volunteers from the Orchards Forum were out on Saturday clearing rubbish from the alleyways around Benson Road, Salisbury Road, Richmond Road and Kent Road.
Tina Holland, Chair of the Orchards Forum, and was one of the volunteers said;
“When we started clearing local alleyways, last year, we would need six council trucks an alley to take all the rubbish away. Today, after visiting numerous alleys around Benson Road, we didn’t quite fill one truck. What a fantastic difference the community has made by working together!
“We know other alleyways are not as clear as these and we will get round to them as soon as we can – as always, the more volunteers we have the more we can get done!”
Andy Blakey, Chair of the Riverside Community Big Local, said;
“This is another great effort from by our local community and I would like to thank each and every one for their time and effort – thanks as well to Antonio Rodrigues, from Thurrock Council for making sure the rubbish was taken away.
“Next month is the Great British September Clean when we will be out cleaning up grot spots around the Riverside Community area. If you know of an area that could do with a clean you can use the link below to add it to the list – you can also use the link to volunteer to help out with a clean up.”
The Riverside Community Big Local has commissioned a number of benches to thank our NHS workers – and other volunteers – for all they have done to keep our communities as safe and well as possible during the Coronavirus crisis.
Chair of the Riverside Community Big Local, Andy Blakey, said;
“We have all been humbled by the work of all those who work in our NHS. We have seen nurses, doctors, paramedics – and so many other health and care workers – making enormous sacrifices and doing an incredible job in the most difficult circumstances imaginable.
“We wanted to make sure that all our key workers – and community volunteers – know just how grateful we are. We hope these benches are a very visible sign of our thanks and will continue demonstrate our admiration for many years to come.
“I also want to thank Thurrock Council for installing the benches for us.”
The benches can be found at Grays Beach Park, Elm Road Green Open Space, Grays Town Park and in Grays High Street.
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