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Stay up to date with the latest news...

* From our CEO
* Double Donation
* Seniors Festival - What's Coming Up?
* International Women's Day
* Stop Press!
* Good Company
* Dates for the Diary
* Teams in Action
* My Patch - with Greg
* New “kids” on the block
* Call out for helping hands
* SCAM ALERT
* Powered with Flowers
* Latest COVID-19 information
* Suggestion Box
* Autumn Newsletter 
 

 

From Our CEO

 

Dear All,

I start by expressing my deepest sympathies to all the NSW and Queensland residents who have lost their lives, homes, businesses and schools in the devastating floods. It is during these times of crises that we see the true spirit of Australians and our volunteering nature shine.

 
Thank you for your patience while our services were paused due to severe weather and thank you for recommencing as soon as the sun started to re-appear.
 
The last month has also seen unsettling war in Europe and continuation of a new variant of COVID-19. These are truly difficult times for us all.
 

Some key highlights:

  • Thank you to all those who have volunteered to help us with the Seniors Festival events.  You can still help, or simply join in one of these from 23 March- 7 April.
  • Fundraising- Our Ethical Jobs Campaign goes live from 24 - 31 March 2022. We are hoping to use the fundraising towards much needed tools and equipment and even a vehicle upgrade if we can!
  • We won a City of Ryde Grant for equipment  for our City of Ryde volunteers 
  • Easy Care Gardening’s CEO was invited to be guest speaker at the 16 March Citizen Ceremony 

I hope you have all managed to stay well and safe and dry. Wishing you all a Happy Easter/ Holiday break in April.
 

Leanne Babic- CEO- Easy Care Gardening  

Easy Care Gardening’s CEO  invited to be Guest Speaker at Citizen Ceremony- 16 March 2022
 
As Easy Care Gardening won the Ku-ring-gai Council’s Mayor’s Australia Day award for outstanding contribution by a community organisation, Leanne Babic was invited to be guest speaker at the Ku-ring-gai Council March Citizen Ceremony. At her address, Leanne spoke about the benefits and spirit of volunteering and how volunteering  is part of our Australian culture, and finished her speech by inviting all new Australians from the Ku-ring-gai ceremony to join Easy Care Gardening. 
 
Pictured below are (left to right) Deputy Mayor Barbara Ward, Mayor Jeff Pettett and ECG CEO Leanne Babic.
Donation Double Up
Easy Care Gardening was successful in receiving a “double your donation” grant with Ethical Jobs.

This means that every time you donate to Easy Care through this platform, Ethical Jobs will match the donations made, meaning we can reach our fundraising goals (think tools and even a much needed vehicle upgrade) twice as quickly!!

Our campaign starts on the 24th of March, so help us make this a success by sharing it on your social media and making a donation here if you can.
Donate Now
 

Seniors Festival Events


We invite you to join us at the Seniors Festival Events.

* 30th and 31st March - Seniors Expo at the International Convention Centre in Darling Harbour to create a mini succulent bowl (9:30am and 2:30pm), herb basket (10:30am and 1:30pm), bulb bowl  (11:30am) or kokedama ball (12:30 and 3:30pm).

If you can help us with these demonstrations then all training and expenses (including meals and parking) will be provided. Let us know ASAP.

You might also like to attend the free Premiers Concert while you're in town, which runs at 11am and 2:45pm daily. 

You can check out what activities are on offer, and more information about the NSW Seniors Festival here, or book tickets to the Gala Concert here.

FYI The expo is at Hall 4, International Convention Centre, Sydney.  This is a 15 minute walk from Town Hall Station, and there is also the light rail (from Central) and ferry as an option.  Trip planner is probably the easiest for people to work out public transport, or you can park at the ICC if driving.   ECG will be located at stand 29 and also the activities adjacent area .
Volunteer to Help
Did you miss out on the Growing Herbs in a Hanging Basket Workshop?  Ku-ring-gai Council have added another date, so you can come on the 5th April if you're quick. Register here.

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY 2022

We quietly celebrated some of the women at work in the ECG office.  Shown here are Gardening Coordinator Jennifer Nakhla, Meredith Kirton (Marketing and Communications Manager and Registered Horticulturist), CEO Leanne Babic, Lynne Bentley and Bernie Lockard from Admin, and Coralie Jensen, our Volunteer Manager. Out in the grounds at ECG, we have over 100 female volunteers, and we simply could not operate without them.

The 2022 theme this year was to imagine "A world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that's diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated." Together we shared a cuppa and cake to toast to women's equality.  

Stop Press!
 
Catch us out and about in the community.  Let us know if you have a garden, before and after or other photos, question or idea you might be able to share with us in our newsletters, or with other local publications.  Check us out in The Senior MagazineThe Bush Telegraph and The Post.
Tune in to Tina on the afternoon Drive show on community radio to hear about ECG's upcoming workshops with Ku-ring-gai Council at Gordon library.  It's a free Seniors event, so if you want to join in, book online here.
Are You Getting Back to Business?
More people are heading back into the office, so it's a great time to think about the benefits of corporate social responsibility.
Do you have contacts with the business community?  Perhaps you could put ECG forward as a great organisation to join with for your Corporate Responsibility Days.  ECG is perfect for team building, to connect with your co-workers, build your company's brand recognition and reputation and to engage with employees.  To ask for a flyer or find out more, contact volunteering@easycaregardening.org.au
We also have a Good Company account, which makes company giving solutions easy.
 

Training Day for Volunteers

Join us for a day of training at the Ku-ring-gai Town Hall on Monday 2nd May 2022 to update your skills.

On the day we will learn heaps, have a great time, and Coralie says she's taking care of lunch...so we know it will be yummy!

Dates for the Diary
Free health workshops, online exercises and health checks.
Free health check Tuesday 29th March on ground level of the Gordon Centre.  Free exercise class on Wednesday 30th March from 11:30am-12:30pm at Gordon Library Meeting Room.
RSVP to gordon@activeseniors.net.au
Chats and Catch ups for Families living with Dementia
Save the Date!
DCaf Connections Social Café Community Morning is being held on Thursday, 31 March. Bookings essential. Contact Fiona Jenkins m. 0402 837 877
 
How to Recycle Your Garden Pots – Eden Gardens & the Hornsby Gro Store as part of Eden Gardens Sustainability Month and the Sustainability Festival
 
Do you have empty plastic pots lying around your home and you’re not sure what to do with them?  During April Eden Gardens would love to encourage people to bring their empty pots back. It’s easy – people can drop off their pots at Eden Gardens into a special recycling unit, and receive a 5% discount in store as a thank you.  Simply scan the QR code to receive your discount code word.  Then they will take care of the rest. They have organized for APCO to upcycle your waste into fresh pots for the nursery industry to grow their next crop of green goodies for your garden!
 
Polypropylene (PP) is a type of plastic commonly used in plant pots and other plant nursery packaging items such as labels, tags, stakes and trays. YOU CANNOT RECYCLE THESE IN YOUR YELLOW BIN through the normal council collection system.
 
In gardens, courtyards and on balconies all over the country there is usually a quite little corner in the shade where a stack of used potting containers are quietly but persistently growing. And unfortunately, they are destined for landfill. 
 
The good news is that PP is readily and repeatedly recyclable. All it needs is an efficient means of collection, recovery and recycling for re-manufacture into new plant packaging. Now is the time to clean out your pots. It’s an easy solution to keeping pots and other plant packaging out of landfill. 
 
And it helps the planet. 
Team (Hot) Shots
After all the rain the gardens are thriving and the clients such as Mrs Young really need our help and enjoy our company.
Renate's team also had a great day gardening.
From left to right: Back – Monique, Malcolm, Kaz, David, Ken; Front – Steve, Frances, Mrs Young (Client), Michelle.

Send in your team shot to Meredith so she can add it to the next newsletter!
 

My Patch - With Greg

"I was born and grew up in Bexley North where my home was on a quarter-acre block that gave enough room for a compact front garden and a large back garden. The front garden was devoted to lawns, shrubs and flowers and the back garden (my father’s domain) comprised a large lawn and, in the space beyond to the back fence, my dad grew vegetables that were spaced around fruit trees. Dad also built a glasshouse where he grew gloxinias.
 
Mum was an enthusiastic jam maker.
 
World War II intervened and my father enlisted in 1939. I had an elder brother who took over as ‘man of the house’ (he was 10 and I was 2). I was too small to push the hand mower so mum or my big brother looked after the lawns. Mum also continued with her domination of the front gardens. The back was handed over to my brother and me and quickly turned feral. And the glasshouse soon showed signs of broken-glass emptiness.
 
After the war, the garden never recovered its former discipline. I left Bexley North when Margaret and I married in 1959. For a time after the death of my father (1960) we moved back, with our first new-born, as a way of assisting my mother. During that stay I completely transformed the back garden to something that was manageable – no trees, no glasshouse, gardens skirting the paling fence where shrubs were the predominant plantings. Easy maintenance was the objective.
 
Eventually we bought a house in Eastwood; in Sheehan Street. But then we moved to Brisbane, sold Eastwood and, after three years, returned to Sydney and looked for a new home back in Eastwood. In 1969 we found this wonderful house (c.1903) in Trelawney Street. And that’s where we still live; 50+ years on. We loved the house and loved the ‘garden’ that consisted of a large tree in the middle of the front lawn.
 
That tree was the turn-on. The whole garden was planned (in a most casual way) around wonderful trees. The original tree has not been moved and has continued to grow. Several more trees and large shrubs have also enjoyed the soil and the setting. And there’s still room for a cricket pitch, diagonally stretched across the front lawn. The pitch re-appears at every large family gathering.
 
Prominent in the backyard is the barbeque area, bathed in dappled shade from mature trees.
 
We’ve lost count of the trees but count our blessings."

 
To read more about Greg's garden journey click here.

If you would like to share 'Your Patch' with us we would love to see it.  Send your story and images to Meredith.

Welcoming Our New Garden Leader
"My name is Craig Goodare. I am a keen gardener and was brought up in New Zealand. As a young boy, I loved growing vegetables, cooking and helping my grandmother tend her garden.
 
After leaving school, I became a chef (following in my grandmother’s footsteps.) I have worked in some very special restaurants in New Zealand and the UK.
 
The second time I lived in England I worked as a product development chef for a large fresh food company. Then, in 2000, I moved to Sydney where I met my Australian wife who is a landscape designer. We have two fantastic kids and we live in Castle Cove next to a bush reserve.
 
After thirty plus years working in the food industry, I am looking forward to following my other passion – gardening – and helping people to live their lives in their own home for as long as they can. I am also looking forward to getting to know all the teams at ECG, the clients and their gardens."

 
Did you need a speaker?
 
Did you know we go to Probus, Rotary and Lions Clubs to chat about ECG?  At the Mount Ku-ring-gai and District Probus club, a member said “Thank you Meredith.  The talk was great.  I am sure everyone appreciated your time.  I do hope some people may be encouraged to volunteer.  It is something I will give some thought to.  I’ve been outside in my own little garden this afternoon doing a little weeding and trimming.”  Perhaps your club would benefit from a visit?  Contact Meredith for details.
SCAM Awareness
 
At Easy Care Gardening, we never cold call to ask you for a donation.
 
Donations are 100% voluntary and can be made online or twice a year through our Winter and Summer seasonal newsletters.
 
It has been brought to our attention, that there may be a scammer using the Easy Care Gardening name to con people into donating over the phone.
 
The good news is that this client immediately called their bank and cancelled their credit card, so the scammer was stopped.
 
Please be assured that this scammer was not from Easy Care Gardening.
 
If you suspect that someone is a scammer please:
  • immediately stop any contact with the scammer
  • report the scam as soon as you can
  • contact your bank or financial institution to cancel all cards and accounts that may have been breached
  • write down any details you get about the scammer (phone number, email, website address or car registration plate number) to help with any investigations
  • tell, us if they are using our name,  your colleagues, friends and family about your experience and what you’ve done about it.
For more information about what to do if you suspect a scammer, please call NSW Fair Trading on 13 32 20 or visit https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/report-identity-theft-scams-or-cybercrime for assistance.
DO NOT give out your banking/credit card details to cold callers.
Easy Care Gardening NEVER call clients for donations.
*** Volunteer Only Event ***
Monday 16 May 9:30am @ The Coal Loader
Full day of fun, lunch, guided walk by the site foreman and cultural activities.
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.
 

Stay informed 

 
Local councils are hosting some free webinars on various topics including Scam AwarenessBuilding Resilience and Positive WellbeingElder Abuse - What You Need to Know and Living with the Uncertainty of the Pandemic, Check out councils' web pages HornsbyHunter’s HillKu-ring-gaiLane CoveMosmanNorth SydneyNorthern BeachesRyde and Willoughby for information on these and other face-to-face events.

Booster Update

As an aged care provider, and an essential service, ECG continues to have controls in place to keep our clients, staff and volunteers safe. Some of ECG’s COVID-19 controls are our own initiatives, and some are based on government legislation.  
As of 12th April all workers in Aged Care must be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccination.
  • “Aged Care Worker”  includes workers in both residential and community settings  (i.e. ECG)
  • “Worker” is a member of staff, volunteer or contractor
  • “Up to date”  means having had 3 COVID-19 vaccinations (i.e. double vaccinated +booster shot)
Put more simply – you will only be able to volunteer with Easy Care Gardening if you have provided proof that you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccinations – i.e. that you have had a booster shot.
 
We are not surprised by this government requirement and flagged it to you in previous correspondence. Thank you to the volunteers who have already provided us with proof of their booster shot. If you have not provided proof of your booster shot already, we need you to do so as soon as possible.
 
You will not be able to attend a garden or the office of ECG after 12 April if you have not provided proof of your booster.
 
Please note that proof that you provide must be in one of these formats:
  • COVID-19 Digital Certificate
  • Immunisation History Statement
  • International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate
These documents are available through Medicare.  For information on accessing these documents please follow the link below.
https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/how-to-get-proof-your-covid-19-vaccinations?context=60091
 
We can no longer accept the green COVID-19 Certificates generated from the Service NSW App on smart phones, as they do not provide evidence of a booster. 
 
If you need any assistance with accessing your certificate or statement please contact Coralie Jensen (Volunteer Manager) or one of the administration team at Easy Care Gardening.  Please provide your vaccination certificate or statement by :
  • replying to this email
  • emailing it to info@easycaregardening.org.au;
  • dropping it into the office in person - Building 1, Level 3, Suite 3, 20 Bridge St Pymble; or
  • sending a copy via Australia post - PO BOX 5337 South Turramurra NSW 2074

Please follow the link to the latest NSW Health advice for home care/CHSP providers including the requirements of 3 doses of COVID-19 vaccines for workers:
https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/covid-19/Pages/home-care-latest-advice.aspx
View Newsletter >>
COVID-19- what are the latest Isolation rules? 
 
At Easy care Gardening, we are recommending that all essential workers ( this includes our volunteers) follow the NSW Health Guidelines and Public Health Orders when returning to volunteering:
 
  1. You test positive to COVID-19
 
We are recommending that you stay at home for a minimum of 7 days or if any symptoms after this remain in isolation until 24 hours after your symptoms have resolved. 
If you have been volunteering with us prior to testing positive, continue to report to us by E: info@easycaregardening.org.au or phoning 9983 1644.
 
To read more on the latest NSW advice on what to do if you test positive  please click here or phone the NSW Health Isolation Support Line on 1800 943 553 (link: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/management/advice-for-confirmed)
 
  1. Self-isolation rules when you are in contact with someone who has tested positive to COVID-19
 
We are recommending that you self- isolate for 7 days after the exposure and have a Rapid Antigen test or PCR test as soon as possible.
 
To read more on the NSW advice on the latest COVID-19 self-isolation rules click here (link https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/management/people-exposed-to-covid)

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 >>
We LOVE feedback.  If you have an idea, want to say thanks, or let us know something, we'd love to hear from you. You can contact us at info@easycaregardening.org.au


 

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