Blenheim…a Palace (nearly)

BLENHEIM PRIMARY School have benefitted from the work of LOVE SOUTHEND volunteers before…

BRIEF RESUME: in March, May and July 2006, LOVE SOUTHEND Youth, along with adults from churches such as St. Cedds’ on Bridgewater Drive and Kings’ Church, Southend, were involved in over two hundred volunteer hours, helping to create a ‘Chill-Out Zone’ garden for pupils and staff at Blenheim Primary School, in Leigh. This is a quiet garden, where people can simply sit in the shade, chat quietly, or read.

This was on top of helping to prepare allotments for the pupils, at the school.

(see photos, on the right)


Blenheim Primary School has recently installed new vegetable beds, with the help of volunteers from Leigh Road Baptist Church (LRBC) & Kings Church, Southend as part of the continued Love Southend initiative.

The team of nine volunteers arrived early on Saturday 3rd March, and got to work measuring, drilling, constructing, painting, and shovelling a lorry load of soil, onto the new raised vegetable beds.

Five hours later, there were three new beds – the allotments had been dug over with new top soil added and all was ready to be used by the children of the school.

David Elcock, Community Worker at Leigh Road said, “Digging in and practically helping out in our community, is such a privilege. The church volunteers really enjoyed working with the school to improve upon the impressive gardening facilities the school already provides for the children.”

The new vegetable beds, will enable every child in Key Stage 1 (KS1) and reception years to have first-
hand experience of growing vegetables and will support the new KS1 gardening club activities. The school already has a large allotment for the KS2 children, which was developed by the school, LRBC, Kings Church, The Bridgewater Drive church and young people from Love Southend Youth’s Extreme:REBUILD activities, over Easter 2006.

Annette Charnock, LSA and Gardening Supervisor at Blenheim Primary School said, “The success of these areas cannot be under estimated – the children are now able to enjoy working outside, sowing and tending the crops and are very proud of the results. The produce has been used widely across the curriculum especially in Science. “

Jamie Oliver would be pleased to see that just a small amount of practical help goes much further than we would initially think. The provision of allotments and raised vegetable beds allows the school to promote healthy eating, by teaching the children to understand more about the importance of fresh food and encourages them to practically discover this outside of the classroom.

Annette Charnock, who initially asked us for help from the churches said, “The team worked so hard over the morning; the beds look great and I am really excited, as they’ll give so many children the chance to grow their own veg and work outside.”

However, doing this kind of project really benefits us all. The school obviously appreciated the hard work, but many of the volunteers also commented on how good the ‘Green Gym Workout’, had made them feel both physically and mentally.

So if you want to make a difference and get stuck into practically helping our local community, please read on…

LOVE SOUTHEND invites anyone interested, to join our Core-Team: we have different people who fill different roles, such as Street Pastors, or Press ‘n’
Publicity. We could always do with fresh blood!

One post has recently become vacant. Whilst we welcome offers of help with any of our work functions, we’re presently keen to appoint a person
to lead a specific area. Please contact us, if you’re interested in this unpaid role, where we may request that you attend an informal ‘interview’, if necessary!

Over to our Chair Rev. Stuart Kimber:-


The work of Love Southend, is about encouraging the Caring and Evangelistic Outreach of the churches in the town, and offering a number of opportunities where this work can be done, together. One of the ways it encourages Caring
Outreach, is through Urban Regeneration Projects.

Love Southend is seeking to appoint an Urban Regeneration Co-ordinator to plan and oversee this work. The person appointed will need to be fully supportive of the vision, methods and
activities of Love Southend, have some practical and administrative gifts and have the support of their own church Leadership.

The role will include :

1. Being a member of the Love Southend Core Team (at present 2 evening meetings per month)
2. In liaison with Southend Council and the local churches, identifying both short-term and ongoing practical projects, which improve the urban environment in some way. (Examples of past work include: rubbish clearance, litter-picking,
painting children’s playgrounds, small garden and landscaping projects, decorating community buildings).
3. Encouraging local churches to take ownership of these projects, giving advice and support on health and safety etc.
4. Writing reports, arranging a pictorial record of work done and working with the media, in liaison with the Love Southend Publicity Team.

Apply to Rev Stuart Kimber, at or 65 Electric Avenue,
Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex SS0 9NN, or telephone 01702 302255.

All applications will, of course, be initially be dealt with in the strictest confidence. Closing date for applications: 16th May 2007.

Could you, or do you know someone or a business, who could volunteer their brick laying skills?

Blenheim would like to create a raised welcoming feature flower bed, at the school. Please contact Annette Charnock or David Elcock, if you can volunteer your skills to help.

[MANY THANKS to David Elcock with help with this article and for supplying the main photo.]

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