The skies had clouded over and the heavens unexpectedly opened in York on Tuesday 6th
June, which could only mean one thing: it was time for the latest York Cares Big Community Challenge
The Partners Group has taken part in various York Cares
events over the years, and we’re always happy to get involved with the charity’s latest community projects in York. And it’s something of a testament to the organisation and reputation of the event that even a non-stop downpour couldn’t dampen the spirit of the participants that had signed up to take part in this latest project.
Managed in partnership with Tang Hall Community Centre and Evora Construction, the project enlisted the help of over 170 volunteers from local employers, the University of York and Tang Hall Primary School. From Monday 5 – Wednesday 7 June they helped reinvigorate the Community Centre’s outside space, including removing a condemned stairway and play area, repainting a climbing frame and creating a herb garden and raised beds.
Of course, behind the scenes planning for the Big Community Challenge had been a whirlwind of activity as organisers put everything required in place at Tang Hall Community Centre. Here at The Partners Group we’d also been busy writing pre-event press releases and contacting local radio stations about attending the site during the event. The challenges are always a fantastic display of community spirit, so it was great to see BBC Radio York’s Joanita Musisi brave the elements early on Tuesday morning to report live from the site as volunteers and staff arrived to get things under way for the second day of the challenge, and we weren’t far behind!
Donning our sturdiest waterproofs, the Partners team eagerly made our way to Tang Hall to find out what new experiences the next three hours would hold. During the last Big Community Challenge last October we found ourselves digging rose beds however we found this most recent challenge to be anything but a bed of roses!
Tasks included scraping the old, worn-out paint off the centre’s climbing frame, ready for a fresh coat and a new lease of life the following day, and dismantling part of a wall to make a new entranceway. A short break for the traditional tea and biscuits halfway through the session was most welcome as the team took the opportunity to dry off and regroup.
One thing that never changes, no matter what the project may be, is just how much an area can be changed in just a few hours. By the time it came to pack up our chisels and scrubbing brushes we could glance around at other groups’ progress and see what can be achieved with just a few tools and even more enthusiastic volunteers.