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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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Green love for second hospital garden

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Dedicated green-fingered volunteers from East Oxford lent a rake or two on Saturday (24 November 2018) to spruce up an overgrown ward garden at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

East Oxford Good Neighbours is a volunteering group supported by Oxford Hub, a local charity based on Turl Street, which offers practical volunteering, skilled placements, and support to set up new social action projects.

The volunteers get their hands dirty by gardening for residents and community areas in need of some green love.

And after successfully transforming an overgrown patch into a therapeutic, nature-friendly garden for elderly patients at the Churchill Hospital's Fulbrook Centre garden in October 2018, the Trust invited them back to the same hospital to work their magic once more.

A team of around 10 volunteers joined East Oxford Good Neighbour's head gardening volunteer, Ali Mckay, at the Blenheim Head and Neck Unit garden to clear leaves, do some pruning and bulb planting, as well as some bench sanding and painting.

Lizzie Shelmerdine, from Oxford Hub, said: "Saturday's work party at the Blenheim Ward was a huge success, and volunteers had lots of fun and the garden is unrecognisable.

"We hope to make life a little easier for the East Oxford community by providing extra green fingers where needed.

"From helping out with hospital spaces to tidying up local residents' back gardens, it's good to bring people together to help one another.

"At Oxford Hub, we want to build a community where it's totally normal for people to reach out to support each other, whether that's taking kids on days out or gardening for your neighbours."

Oxford Hub was founded in 2007 by a group of students who felt the need for better coordination between student charitable groups.

Its vision was to create a network that would connect students working across different causes so they could share insight, knowledge, and experience, to make all groups more effective.

Today its volunteering opportunities are open to local residents, University of Oxford students and Oxford Brookes students, working with 700 volunteers over 20 different volunteering projects.

The East Oxford Good Neighbour scheme was set up in 2015 with the aim of supporting socially isolated people and building a culture of neighbourliness in East Oxford.

It was the brainchild of East Oxford resident Bev Clack and is run by a small steering group of individuals and representatives of local community organisations.

Contact for more information.

Pictured: volunteers from East Oxford Good Neighbours working hard at the Churchill Hospital's Fulbrook Centre garden in October 2018