In October, a group of young adults, missionaries and stake leaders from Northampton Stake got together to help the Buckingham Canal Society. Buckingham Canal Society was one of the first organisations within the Stake boundary to sign up to JustServe, so the Stake was very keen to respond to their requirements. The society was founded in 1992. They are currently restoring a canal that spans the Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire border between Buckingham and Cosgrove.
Terry Cavender, Executive Officer at BCS, on Saturday 24th October said:
“Three of us at the Buckingham Canal Society (BCS) were joined by around 20 of the Helping Hands team. After explaining the COVID safety briefing and the other aspects of site safety, the group got to work. I was joined by 5 of the volunteers to undertake some weird plumbing and generally wallowing in mud. Rob took ten In-waders to go pulling reeds in the canal bed. Amanda took a team of 5 and tackled several site tidy jobs moving rubbish and scrap. Suddenly it was lunchtime, and I was amazed, along with my colleagues, at the amount of work achieved by the teams.
“After the ‘pizza picnic’, the folk came back for more and we achieved a tremendous amount of task completion.
“Everyone seemed to enjoy the day despite an early finish due to high winds in the afternoon. We look forward to welcoming all the Helping Hands back again.”
Rob Morris, the Chairman of BCS, is ex-military and has a real focus on leadership and teamwork. He said:
“We really appreciated the help of the Church group as it enables us to get a lot more done. They were one of the best groups I’ve worked with this year. Their teamwork was excellent. When someone needed help, they didn’t need prompting; they just responded with a willing smile and helped each other. It was awe-inspiring!”
Keith Reynolds, who is the Stake High Councillor responsible for the YA, said:
“This service was an excellent way for young adults to develop their skills while having fun.
“In these times, when they would typically be out socialising most weekends, they have had to remain isolated due to Covid for the last seven-plus months.
“The look on their faces as they met up for the first time since the summer lockdowns, you could see how important it was to them. To be together while helping the canal volunteers beautify the countryside.
“Oh, and the pizza lunch was good too!! During times of restrictions, this kind of outdoor service is better indoors - we all enjoyed ourselves, had fun, created bonds, learned a lot, and ate pizza - what's not to like! We are now planning further projects with the BCS over the next few months.”