Stay up to date with the latest news...

* From our CEO
* Double Donation
* Seniors Festival - Wrap Up
* Double Donation Drive 
* Magic Magnolias
* Team (Hot) Shots
* Training Day Rundown
* National Volunteer Week
* What's On
* Hello and Goodbye
* Staying Safe in the Garden
* Autumn Newsletter 


From Our CEO

Dear All, 

I hope you had a safe and happy Easter/public holiday break and had a chance to rest and relax.

SOS🌧 🆘🌿👩🏼‍🌾🏡 

Sadly, our services have been badly impacted by the unforeseen severe and dangerous weather throughout March and April.  Gardens that were visited early in the year now require urgent revisiting.   We thank you for your patience while our teams re-visit your gardens to make them safe and tidy again after the storms. If you have extra days or hours you think you might be able to give ECG over the next few weeks and months, please notify your coordinator as we could use some more help to catch up.

Trained Up 🧘‍♂️👩‍🦽⛰🪴

It was good to see so many new and familiar faces at the volunteer training day on Monday 2 May and I hope you enjoyed the session as much as I did. My personal favourite was the yoga class. Congratulations to Wayne Schmiedte (pictured above) who won the day trip to the Blue Mountains kindly donated by FJ Tours.   Don't forget to look further down the newsletter for some 'cheat notes' if you missed the training.

Thanks and Praise 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

National Volunteer Week is from 16- 22 May 2022 and the theme this year is Better Together. National Volunteer Week is a chance for all of us at Easy Care Gardening to celebrate and recognise the vital work of each of our volunteers do and to say thank you. We are Better Together and at Easy Care Gardening we are better off as the result of your volunteering.  On Monday 16 May, we have a special thank celebration at the Coal Loader.  Details are in the newsletter.

Leanne Babic- CEO- Easy Care Gardening  


Seniors Festival Wrap

Throughout the festival, 260 people attended workshops at Seniors Expo, 40 workshops at the City of Ryde, 32 workshops at Ku-ring-gai Council.

Rebecca Wallis, Senior Events Officer, Dept. Communities and Justice wrote and said "Thank you again for participating in this year’s Expo, the workshops were an absolute hit!" Fifty exhibitors were at the International Convention Centre and Easy Care Gardening Inc was listed as a show highlight on the website.

Thanks so much to everyone who helped, but particularly our wonderful volunteers Daniele, Anne, Breanna, Bruce, Anne Marie and Lorraine.  We hope you enjoyed it.  As Marie said "It was a great day. I enjoyed being able to help. A pleasure to meet you and spend time learning from your wealth of knowledge.  Thank you for deciding to ask volunteers to help - I would do it again."

We have already had some new volunteers join us from these events, and hope to build our ranks further in the future.

Meredith Kirton, MAIH RH
Marketing and Communications Manager

Donation Double Up

We received a total of $5675 in donations which was matched dollar for dollar by so in total $11,350 was generated in the campaign.
The donations will help us deliver initiatives such as volunteer training, provide PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) for our teams and potentially some IT equipment for the admin staff. 

The Management Committee will be looking at the best use of the funds over the next few months, and we will keep you informed.

Artistic Flair in the Garden
Jo Toomey, ECG volunteer, created this lovely picture of a Magnolia for one of her fellow team members.  Lovely as it is, we will have to wait a few more months before the Magnolias begin to flower in our gardens.

Team (Hot) Shots

It was great to get out and see Easy Care Gardening volunteers around the corner from the HQ at Gordon recently and catch up with them at work.  Featured here left to right are: Craig Goodare, Garden Leader at ECG, Elaine Lumsdaine, Andy Frazer, Fay Knibbs & Trevor Gibblin.

Training Day for Volunteers
On Monday 2 May 2022 a group of volunteers met at Ku-ring-gai Town Hall to update their skills.  We covered Disability Awareness Training with Rebecca McAlister from Uniting, WH&S & sexual harassment in the workplace protocols with Coralie, as well as 101 weeds, a pruning snippet, reablement and wellness from a garden perspective from Jennifer and learnt what help is offered for carers from Wendy Hill from Carers NSW.  The day also included some simple yoga exercises to do stretching and warming up before and after gardening thanks to Jennifer Bateman, whose mum used to receive help from ECG in Denistone.

If you missed it, here are a few items of "homework" if you want to follow them up at home.

1. Disability Awareness Training Thanks to Rebecca McAlister and Kristie McCarthy from Uniting, who explained how to use humour, person centred language, address the person (not their carer) and always presume ability, when working with anyone who might have mobility, hearing, sight, neurodiversity or any other disabilities.

2. Work Health & Safety session taught us how to recognise hazards and minimise risks at work.  If you know of an unsafe work practice and have contributions to make to help ECG make our work place safer, please let your coordinator know.  Don't forget to always wear you PPE too.

3. Sexual Harassment needs to be taken seriously in the work place, and this includes volunteers.  What might have been considered 'harmless' or even flattering can actually be hurtful and unwanted, so make sure you know the difference.

The Human Rights Commission has heaps of great information available.  Watch some of their videos for examples of sexual harassment and how to 'know the line' here.

Easy Care Gardening has a zero tolerance for Sexual Harassment in the workplace.  Any reports of Sexual Harassment will be taken seriously and investigated according to our policies and procedures.
There are numerous ways to report a concern regarding Sexual Harassment.  You can tell your team leader /coordinator; contact the office of Easy Care Gardening and ask to speak to the Volunteer Manager (Coralie Jensen) or CEO (Leanne Babic); or contact the Volunteer Representative of the Management Committee via email 

There is help and support available if you have been affected by Sexual Harassment, and the following organisations are available for help: 1800 Respect (1800 737 732); Beyond Blue 1300 224 636; Lifeline 13 11 14

4. Weeds 101 were covered by registered horticulturist Meredith Kirton.  You can view the PowerPoint here or check out for specific profiles, or the NSW government Weedwise app .  You might also find iNaturalist a useful ID tool for mapping and sharing observations of biodiversity across the globe, not just weeds. iNaturalist may be accessed via an app or online.  Meredith also took the a small group on pruning techniques, some of which is outlined in this PowerPoint.

5. Stretching and warming up has never been this much fun!  Who new we could all benefit from 20 minutes of simple exercises done from a chair!
Join us on an Excursion to The Coal Loader
Matthew Tancred, who was the project manager building Coal Loader Platform, will give ECG some of the insights around taking this project from paper to reality.  Matt's desire to make a difference to the community drives him daily to make a difference to our green open spaces.
We will also be joined by ECG Patron and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Horticulture Judy Horton OAM.
Don't miss out on this great day out. Register here.
Other Dates for the Diary
COMEDY VOLUNTEERS 🤣 🎤| In celebration of National Volunteer Week 2022, Hornsby Council are hosting a very special, 'Hello Hornsby' Comedy Show.
Laugh out loud with Australia's best-loved, most hilarious comedy stars:

😂 Tommy Dean − ABC Radio's 'Thank God it’s Friday', 'Spick and Specks', 'Good News Week'
🤣 Stephanie Broadbridge − 'Splendour in the Grass', 'Sydney & Melbourne Comedy Festivals', 'Sydney Fringe Festival'
😁 Brett Nichols − 'Ready Steady Cook', 'The NRL Footy Show', 'Top Gear Australia'
😆 Daniel Townes − ABC's 'Comedy Up Late, 'Just For Laughs ', 'Good News Week'

The 'Hello Hornsby' Comedy Show is open FREE to Seniors 60+ living in Hornsby Shire and who are current, previous, or interested volunteers.

📌 When: Mon 16 May, 10:30 am – 1:30 pm
📌 Where: Hornsby RSL Club
📌 Bookings are essential! To book, go to

Doors open from 10:30am for tea and coffee on arrival!

Under 60s are welcome if a carer with someone 60+.
Wellness and Reablement
Frontline Workers and Volunteers Session
Wednesday 4 May, 1.30 – 2.30 pm
We now support older people living at home using a wellness and reablement approach.  Within this approach, we work with our clients to ensure that they remain as healthy, engaged and involved in everyday life as possible. 
What are the essential ingredients of wellness to older people? What does reablement mean in practice?  What are some simple things that frontline workers and volunteers can do through their work to support older people to live meaningful and active lives?
About the Presenter: Glen Sorensen from Age Communications is the author of two books in ageing. Glen has worked in aged care for 40 years.  In the last 10 years he has increasingly specialised in wellness and reablement. Glen regularly runs training and information sessions for aged care staff, volunteers and older people living in the community. Register here.
Hornsby Council Free Training Sessions
Hands Up!
We are going to have a pop up stall at Flower Power Terrey Hills as part of National Volunteer Week.  Let us know if you can help on either Saturday or Sunday.
New Colleagues and Fond Farewells
Welcoming Our New admin staff
Julie Mann joined ECG on Tuesday 3 May as part of our administrative team.  She comes with extensive experience in account administration and support.
Julie moved to Sydney from England 19 years ago with her husband & two small children. After a 2-year ‘trial’ they decided to call Australia home. Julie spent 8 years working in accounts and administration for a local Aged Care Facility and says "I am very excited to be joining the team at Easy Care Gardening, and getting to know everyone."  Her kids are now adult.  Julie loves living in St Ives close to the bush for her daily bush walk, but confesses that "my favourite flower has to be a rose being English! But also love gardenias...I enjoy a healthy & active lifestyle which now circles around our beautiful Australian Shepherd dog and her twice daily walks." 
Amanda has decided to move on from Easy Care Gardening and enter into a new role in administration in the Catholic Education System- a little closer to home. It is 100% the Catholic Education Department’s gain and our loss and may you shine in your new role.
Thank you for the 19 months at Easy Care Gardening and on behalf of all the staff we wish you well in your new position and your future.

Leanne Babic
CEO- Easy Care Gardening

Staying Safe in the Garden

Throughout March and April many of us have noticed a huge increase in leeches and mosquitoes whilst working in the garden.  Whilst leeches do make your skin crawl, they are easily removed with a pinch of salt or by pushing your fingernail under the head (skinny end) sideways till they release their suction.  A dab with disinfectant keeps your wound free of infection.  

The water everywhere has also made prime breeding conditions for mozzies, those other blood suckers. Prevention is best here, so wear long sleeves (we have new shirts!) and repellent, and empty any saucer or containers of standing water to clear any wrigglers and stop them breathing.

Send your story and images to Meredith.

Autumn Newsletter

Our newsletter is out now.  Read up on the Easy Care Gardening Lawn Care Tips and find out our latest award winners.   There's also some updates on uniforms, and important information about a tool fundraising drive.
View Newsletter >>
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