After many months of virtual volunteering throughout the pandemic, in early June Marble Arch BID returned to in-person activities with two events to celebrate the Great British Spring Clean 2021.
For our first event on 7 June 2021, Marble Arch volunteers reunited in the glorious sunshine in Paddington. Teams headed out on GoBoats, canoes and paddleboards, sailing along the canal and picking plastic waste and pollution from the water.
22 volunteers from companies across Marble Arch joined us out on the water. Colleagues from British Land, Berkeley, GIC and Hunter Boots all rolled up their sleeves to get involved.
After many months of home working, the atmosphere was fantastic as colleagues were excited to safely meet again outdoors. Our environmental volunteering projects are an excellent opportunity not only to contribute to clearing up our local natural environment, but to once again work together as a team away from screens and the distractions of home life.
Volunteers returned with an impressive haul, filling several buckets and bags with the rubbish they pulled from the water. Whilst volunteers enjoyed sailing down the canal reunited with colleagues, their work also highlighted the severity of plastic pollution. This work helps to maintain the canal as an area of calm and provides open space for the community. Access to nature is an increasingly vital asset in a time when many Londoners have found themselves feeling isolated at home during the pandemic.
Maintaining meadows in Hyde Park
Later in the week, Marble Arch volunteers continued their environmental work for the Great British Spring Clean. Volunteers worked in teams on 10 June 2021 to clear cow parsley from Hyde Park’s meadows to enable other flower species to grow.
Colleagues from Multiplex, British Land and Hunter Boots pulled up the parsley by hand, leaving more light and space for flowers such as buttercups, yellow rattle and yarrow to become more established. This leaves the meadows a fantastically colourful space for bees, butterflies and other invertebrates to thrive.
The Community Programme moving forward
As restrictions ease further, we’re excited to move forward with a blended approach to our Community Programme. We will offer both practical, in-person volunteering opportunities and continue to develop our popular virtual activities. This ensures we meet the needs of the community whilst enabling as many volunteers as possible to contribute.
We’d like to thank our volunteers for working to clean up our canal and maintain our local park. We’re grateful to GoBoat and Active360 for getting our colleagues safely on the water, to Canal & River Trust for their guidance and support and to The Royal Parks for their leadership and expertise. If you feel inspired by our volunteers and would like to get your colleagues involved, get in touch.
Volunteer safety is our top priority and we work hard to ensure our GBSC projects are covid-secure. All our events are thoroughly risk assessed and we brief our volunteers in broad open spaces. PPE is also available at all our volunteering activities.