Mormon Helping Hands projects to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Church Welfare Programme were fulfilled when over 300 faithful saints from the Greater London area turned out to work. Tottenham particularly was an area ravaged by the riots. We had dozens of youth there, building, instead of pulling down the community.
At each of the three sites friends were made and promises to maintain relationships were swapped. In particular, we proved to the Mayor of London's Office that on a weekday with short notice, the Church could mobilise significant numbers of cheerful, willing and able volunteers to serve with no thought of a return
Lee Valley Country Regional Park
The Lee Valley Country Regional Park at Tottenham saw the launch of the London Mayor’s clean-up campaign where over 200 volunteers helped to weed, build flower beds, cut down overgrown vegetation, as well as some general tidying up and removal of litter within the Tottenham Marshes. The Marshes are one of the few green spaces within Tottenham, an area which was recently affected by rioting. Saints from the stakes in the Greater London Area teamed up with Mayor Boris Johnson’s office to launch this campaign, which is aimed at cleaning up London prior to the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. This clean up was kick-started on Monday the 5th September by Kulveer Ranger, the Mayor’s Director of Environment, who joined volunteers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who incorporated Capital Clean-up into "Helping Hands," to clear everyday litter from Tottenham Marshes.
The volunteers were keen to assist with on-site conservation work and help keep this valued open space clean and tidy for Tottenham’s local residents to continue to enjoy. The site is well-loved amongst locals who visit regularly with friends and family to enjoy the nature on their doorstep.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “Now more than ever it is great to see community-minded Londoners, such as these volunteers who turned out in their droves in Tottenham Marshes to be part of Capital Clean-Up. By rolling up their sleeves and getting stuck in they are helping to put the ‘village’ back into our city by making our neighbourhoods cleaner, more attractive and safer places to live. “
Alan Phillips, President of the Hyde Park Stake commented, “We are very pleased to join together with the Mayor, Boris Johnson, and Kulveer Ranger to demonstrate our commitment to the community in which we live and worship, especially in light of recent events in London.”
Haven House Hospice
Romford Stake and Maidstone Stake members joined together to work at Haven House Children’s Hospice. The hospice in Woodford Green is a special place for special children with life limiting and life threatening conditions. With some statutory funding, the rest of their budget comes from fundraising and to carry out the important work they do they rely heavily on volunteers in a variety of roles.
One key role is to ensure the gardens meet the needs for the children and families it supports. Church members were able to complete three tasks in the gardens, the major one being the clearing of a woodland walk that will enable children to enjoy the gardens and wildlife in the grounds of the house. A secondary project was to ensure that the gazebos were fit for purpose when events occur in the grounds for the children and lastly some much needed painting was enthusiastically undertaken by a group of Young Adults.
Members worked alongside one of the regular gardening volunteers, John Girling, who was very grateful for all the help that the members gave and was amazed how hard they worked.
Mike Palfreman CEO said: “It was a really good day. There was so much energy, enthusiasm and willingness to help where needed. Our families will be able to benefit greatly from the work that was carried out, and we look forward to working with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints again in the future”.
Stratford Ward and Wandsworth Stake members served at the Richard House Children’s Hospice. Like Haven House this hospice in Newham East London serves children with life limiting and life threatening conditions and relies heavily on volunteers.
The tasks assigned for the day were to help out in the hospice’s beautiful grounds and to paint one of their offices. Bishop Simpson of Stratford Ward commented: “It was a pleasant sight, seeing the volunteers from Stratford Ward arriving at the project just willing and ready to serve. I am certain that the various services carried out on the day which included painting one of the offices, working in the garden and helping out with some carpentry work will go a long way to bless the lives of the users of the hospice and the ward members who turned up on the day to make this service project a success.”
Sister Yetunde Adeboye was one of the sisters painting the office along with Bishop Simpson and Patriarch Sandy Ogunbote, “Serving today felt good, I got a good workout as well as learning some tricks of the trade” she enthused.