Goodgym visit to The Boulevard – 10 August 2021

Report from Conroy Barnett of Goodgym of their visit to The Boulevard on 10 August:

Our help is always welcomed around Croydon, so when our planned task owner had to pull the plug following being told she had to self isolate, I reached out to our friends at ECCO, who were very excited to offer us a task.

Eight of of us met up at Solutions Gym where we had a little chat about our weekend and the week so far before setting off to our little spot next to East Croydon train station for our warm up.

Before we began our warm up there was a presentation to be made, Yasser who we met on a task at St Augustine’s has been running with us since our return to group activities. He is a keen gardener and a very polite young man with a smile that lights up the group. Following him signing up to Good Gym I got in contact with the lovely folks in the Central office to ask for his T-Shirt to be sent to me, I was excited on Monday when the post came and I saw that little red bag because I knew it had something in it that would make someone happy. It was an absolute pleasure to able to present him with his Good Gym T-Shirt and he was so thrilled to receive it he got changed into it as soon as I had let it go into his hands.

Wardrobe changed and we were ready for our warm up before setting off on our 1 mile run to ECCO. ECCO is normally a 5 mins walk from Solutions, however going there I always try to take the longer route so that the group can have a little jog, although while sitting here writing the report I’ve just managed to come up with another route, I’ll introduce them to on our next visit in September. Should you not see a run report following our September visit please send out the search party as I maybe still trying to navigate my way!

We arrived at Blake Road a bit sooner than planned which allowed the group to get a 2 minute rest before we tackled the overgrowth that greeted us. Our presence throughout lock down was surely missed as the raised beds have never been this overgrown prior to the pandemic. There was a lot to be done, however we decided we would work on one of the raised beds and if we had time we would then move onto another. There was also a lot of litter along the path, which made our queen litter picker Ingrid smile and she quickly grabbed an empty bag and a litter pick and went off to clean it up, she was not alone as Samantha followed suit and set off too, I think we have a future rivalry brewing here! Sam was at it too last week with the dust pan and brush sweeping up the overspill from the soil bags at the last task. I think I may have to monitor this as there are now two contenders for the queen litter picker title!

As we were working along the tram tracks, it is requirement that anyone who is working on the tram side must wear a hi-vis vest, a passer by who had noticed us working asked Ollie and one of the residents who had came out to assist what they were in for, thinking that they were undertaking some form of community punishment. We had a chuckle about the comment and talked about future possible responses should we ever get asked that question again.

25 bags filled and we had run out of bags just in time to call it a night, we swept up and pack away our tools then returned them to Jerry’s home. Tony,  who had been filling for Jerry thanked us for what we had done.

Jerry Fitzpatrick adds:

Thank you to Team Goodgym (led by Conroy Barnett) for their great work on 10 August.   Many thanks also to Tony Skrzypczyk for being the ECCO lead on the evening.

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