Sunday, 30 November 2008

Youth Service at Marsh Farm

PRESS RELEASE Youth brave the cold to serve at Marsh Farm

[Chelmsford, Essex – 22nd Nov 2008] Over 50 youth aged between 12-17 braved the chill and volunteered their Saturday morning to work at Marsh Farm ( as part of the clean up team in the “Pledge a Hedge” youth initiative.

Marsh Farm had been in need of manpower to help with the project which they had started earlier in the year. Jimmy Allen, Area Manager for Essex County Parks requested help with "...some hedgerows that needed planting, the ideal physical job for a group of teenagers. One section is approx 200m long and needs 600 plants putting in!"

The teenagers from the Chelmsford, Maldon, Colchester & Witham areas (all members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints - were happy to offer their time and helping hands to hours of digging trenches, clearing dirt and debris, as part of a service commitment to their community.

Youth leader Emma Fagg commented, “It was wonderful to see our youth getting stuck into some real physical tasks to help the Marsh Farm project. There was a real team spirit on the day amongst the youth and leaders, and we were grateful for the opportunity to offer our time in such a worthwhile environmental cause.”

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Handy Helpers in Tendring...

Whilst Helping Hands is a ONE DAY bonanza... the people behind the event also like to help locally where and when needed...

"For some time the local residents of Elmstead market have had to struggle along the overgrown footpath that connects two half’s of the village, the footpath is also a well used route for young school children and parents to get to the local primary school. With stinging nettles both sides almost meeting in the middle, it was felt by the Tendring Branch council that the unit would clear the path, as the local council authority will not take any responsibility for its upkeep.

10am Saturday morning we gathered, about 30+ attended from a unit that has only 45 members, armed with spades, forks and plastic sacks we set about clearing the path. The clearing line was led by the Nigel Rolton, and the Local Church 'Branch President' (aka Pastor) Jason Watling, using petrol driven hedge cutters and strimmers, quickly cut down/back most of the weeds etc. The rest of the members followed behind bagging, digging and pruning/weeding back what was left. Over the years the earth either side of the path had covered the sides reducing the path width by half, this was scraped back.

The whole project only took 2 hours, and it was back to the Branch Presidents home for a BBQ and refreshments. The local residents commented and what a great job had been done, and where very grateful to all that were involved in the clearing project."

Monday, 15 September 2008

Every Little Helps!

Some interesting stats for you on the cumulative efforts around the UK during Helping Hands:

In the UK/Ireland we had approximately 5,488 workers giving 21, 425 hours of service and we still await some reports.... so, as the supermarket slogan goes, EVERY LITTLE HELPS!!

Sunday, 31 August 2008

Video of 2008 Helping Hands project

The edited version of our Braintree 2008 Helping Hands is hot off the press...

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Maldon Helping Hands 2007...

Now you can watch us all at work during the 2007 Helping Hands Day at St. Peter's Hospital in Maldon, Essex. Our 2008 edition is getting edited as we speak! From the vid below you do get to see the scale of the projects we undertake - as well as the fun we have!! Enjoy ;)

We apologise that this video has had to be removed and are sorry for any disappointment or inconvenience caused. Many thanks.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Thank You!

We just wanted to say a HUGE thank you to our kind sponsors who donated materials (paints, brushes, timber, signs etc) and made our task all the easier!!

Brooks Bros.

P.S. If you are a local business and want to get involved in next year's project(s) then please contact us HERE...

Saturday, 28 June 2008

The Magistrates... verdict!

Mark Brandon, from emerging Essex Band, The Magistrates, lends a hand...

The day in pictures... (3)

This event was also widely publicised for the community to get involved. The goal was to widen our outreach and include volunteers from other faiths, as well as from the immediate surrounding area. Anne (from St. Michael's parish in Braintree) commented, "Thank you so much for letting me join in. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and you made me feel so welcome. I think is it great all this work you are doing for MY community. I am sorry I could not stay all day... but have really enjoyed my hour with you all."

It was commented by all who had never seen a Helping Hands Day in action, just how many youth and children were happy to get involved... paint brushes at the ready. It is unusual to see kids of all ages working alongside their mums or dads, aunts, friends, neighbours... and strangers.

The day in pictures... MEDIA COVERAGE

Local papers sent photographers. Shauna (from the Braintree & Witham Times) as well as Paul (from the Essex Chronicle) took a series of pictures which we hope will make this week's news. The project really highlights the MASSIVE improvements that can occur when loads (hundreds!!) of people all set about to make a difference in just ONE day...

Whether it is painting, sewing, rendering, cutting, mowing, pruning, digging, sanding, building or just taking round cold drinks (which were well needed in the blazing Essex sun!!) the tasks undertaken today created a vibrant buzz around a Hospital that was threatened with closure. With a little (well... actually A LOT) of graft; restoring tired facades and crumbling exteriors gave the whole place a feeling of vitality.

The staff nurses I spoke to on the ward (which kept functioning "business as usual") said, "This has been marvelous. It has been so lovely to see all the changes. The outside really needed a facelift, and what you have done here has made a huge difference."

The day in pictures... (1)

Projects included: Making curtains, cushions, story sacks for a local school; painting a murial on the wall in the Occupational Therapy room; Rendering and renovating the out buildings - painting, sanding etc; Creating outdoor chairs and tables; Clearing the massive overgrown areas and landscaping for use; Creating a path; Creating raised beds; Replanting overgrown rockeries; Clearing the enterance gardens... (just for starters!!)