It's been years since I've done any sort of gardening…
We split up into three groups to deliver the project, which in short aimed to improve the exterior of the Gardens.
My group was tasked with cutting back overhanging plants and cleaning up the pavement:
The second group had to paint the fencing; and the final group were repainting the sign for the Gardens:
After a tour and bit of history from one of the gardeners, we got started. What appeared to be a short task suddenly began to grow and grow! Cutting back the plants only revealed more plants and assorted rubbish.
The fence painters didn’t get off lightly either, under the growing scrutiny of local school students! The artists ran into paint drying issues and took to sanding picnic benches and painting shed doors while waiting.
By lunchtime we were already exhausted! Although lunch raised our spirits somewhat, we were also aware of our looming deadline. I felt a long way from my normal office-based job and was developing an even greater admiration for the workers building the venues and infrastructure for the London 2012 Games on the Olympic Park.
Post-lunch we worked even harder, inspired by our progress from the morning. Before long the afternoon had gone and our work was complete. We had a wander around to survey our work and, satisfied with our progress, made our way to the local church hall to have a celebratory cup of tea.
A sense of achievement washed over the group and we all agreed it had been a fantastic experience for all of us and how we would love to do more volunteering – something we know there will be loads of opportunities to do in 2012!
London 2012 will depend on up to 70,000 volunteers to make sure the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games run smoothly and successfully.
Volunteers will carry out a range of essential tasks, from spectator services to language services and medical care.
Find out how you can get involved with projects run by the Changing Places programme.