The LEAP team have formed volunteer work parties sometimes in more than one location, pretty well every Saturday since June 2014, sometimes with other days during the week too. The size of work parties vary and different people are involved at different times but with a core of around 8-10 ‘regulars’ including committee members of FoSGP and the LEAP Project.
This weekend the team dismantled the bean wigwams in the churchyard ready for winter works.
We often visit other local authority areas in neighbouring localities and are invariably surprised by the resources available to community groups in those areas by comparison with our own experience.
However, the lack of a physical base has never held the LEAP team back. On the contrary we use the park for our base and the shelter as the only cover we've got from the elements.This week is was wet and cold but the team separated into two groups loading swept-up leaves into the new raised bed in St George's Park, doing a litter pick in the park and working in the churchyard bays, we got quite a lot done despite the weather.
A lot of discussion and planning takes place at the work party refreshment breaks which any park user, elected member, council officer, safety team member or interested party can attend and take part in. The LEAP project is of course characterised by the provision of free food in the parks and other local green spaces, the free refreshments are part of this ostensibly moneyless economy of commitment to community gardening. It is ostensibly moneyless because there are no financial costs to people benefitting from the project, open to all irrespective of personal circumstances, but of course fundraising is required to sustain the project over time.
The benefits of being involved in projects like LEAP are probably unquantifiable but health economics demonstrates the significant financial value of exercise, improved diet, outdoor activity, volunteering, green spaces, parks and gardening by enhancing health and wellbeing and LEAP ticks all the boxes.
Here are a couple of shots of the LEAP team 'at home' in St George's Park shelter. Visitors/ helpers/supporters are always welcome