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August e-news

Welcome to our new volunteers and hello to our regular team members.  Have the wattles started to bloom at your place? Botanist Tim Entwistle, in his book Sprinter and Sprummer, wrote that the ‘spring’ flowering period for most Australian plants actually begins in August, the last month of ‘winter’. He suggests ‘sprinter’ should be a new season in August–September, which also happens to be peak wattle season. So, in the spirit of sprinter, let’s embrace our natives and their wonderful flowers, and celebrate their hardiness and beauty.  You might even consider planting some for National Tree Day on Sunday.

STAY CONNECTED

* COVID-19 Wrap-up by our new CEO
* Catch up with Suzanne
* National Tree Day
* Aged Care Day
* Flag reminder
*  Winter Newsletter 

During my first couple of weeks at ECG I have been inspired by the dedication of the ECG Gardening, Administrative, Marketing and Volunteer teams to work together for our clients.  It's clear they provide an exceptional level of garden maintenance and care to our clients over Hornsby, Hunter’s Hill, Ku-ring-gai and Ryde local government areas.

The current greater Sydney’s COVID-19 lock down has meant that our services have been disrupted. These have been extended until August 28.  The choice to continue to garden safely during this time is a choice for every volunteer; it is a tough and individual decision. are asked to not volunteer at till orders change. Some volunteers who live in the Parramatta, Campbelltown, George's River, Fairfield, Bankstwon/Cantebury, Liverpool and Cumberland LGA's This has meant that we have had to say a temporary goodbye to some of our volunteers.  

We all hope that soon the COVID-19 infections will decrease, and we can work together more comfortably again in the future once restrictions ease. We want to assure our clients and volunteers that we have your well-being as a priority as we navigate decisions in this rapidly changing situation. 

I wish to acknowledge and thank the volunteers who have been able to continue essential maintenance services for our clients. If your circumstances change however, please let your Coordinator know.

Lastly, I wish to thank Hugh Hamlyn-Harris for stepping in as acting Manager and for his thorough handover.  

Wishing you and your families all good health and safety during this time.

Leanne Babic
CEO Easy Care Gardening Inc.

Important Note
 
As you know Easy Care Gardening paused its gardening service last month.  This gave us time to thoughtfully and thoroughly consider how to navigate our way through these trying times. We're very pleased that we were able to resume our work after in contact with our funder and the NSW Department of Health.

Easy Care Gardening is confident that the plan we have put in place:
  • is compliant with the current health orders
  • protects our clients while still delivering our service 
  • safeguards the health and safety of our volunteers and staff
 

We ask that volunteers who live in any of these suburbs in addition to the Liverpool, Campbelltown, Canterbury/Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool and Parramatta, please do not garden at this time.

·         Baulkham Hills

·         Beecroft  (Excludes Beecroft from Hornsby Shire)

·         Camellia

·         Carlingford

·         Cheltenham (Excludes Cheltenham from Hornsby Shire)

·         Clyde

·         Constitution Hill

·         Dundas

·         Dundas Valley

·         Eastwood

·         Epping

·         Ermington

·         Granville (see also Cumberland LGA)

·         Harris Park

·         Holroyd (see also Cumberland LGA)

·         Lidcombe (see also Cumberland LGA)

·         Mays Hill (see also Cumberland LGA)

·         Melrose Park

·         Newington

·         North Parramatta

·         North Rocks

·         Northmead

·         Oatlands

·         Old Toongabbie

·         Parramatta

·         Pendle Hill (see also Cumberland LGA)

·         Rosehill

·         Rydalmere

·         Silverwater

·         Sydney Olympic Park

·         Telopea

·         Toongabbie (see also Blacktown and Cumberland LGA)

·         Wentworth Point

·         Wentworthville (see also Cumberland LGA)

·         Westmead (see also Cumberland LGA)

·         Winston Hills

Reference: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules/greater-sydney#renovations-repairs-maintenance-and-cleaning


Please stay safe and well. Thank you for your patience, understanding and continued support of Easy Care Gardening.

If you need to talk to someone, remember there is an older persons support line you can access on 1800 171 866
 
OTHER INFORMATION
 
* Morning/ afternoon tea with clients is cancelled until further notice. This is to protect both volunteers and clients - many of whom live with more than one risk factor. Volunteers should bring their own beverage and snack if needed.

* The maximum number of volunteers at any address is 5 people. ln order to ensure that the maximum of 5 is not exceeded, you will need to RSVP to your coordinator or team leader for each session. lf the garden is very small, the team size may need to be limited even further. as we need to maintain the 1 person per 4 square metre rule. Your team leader or coordinator will advise when this is the case.

* Current health orders must be complied with at all times. Health orders especially relevant in the garden are social distancing and hand and cough hygiene. Please note you are required to wear a mask while gardening.

* You may only attend a garden if you do not have any COVID symptoms and are not required to self-isolate. We ask that you use this link on the day of your shift to ensure that to you are compliant with any health order updates.

* Carry your permission to work letter with you so that you can provide it if requested by the police.

* Volunteers and staff may not enter a client's home nor their out buildings. We understand that this may cause challenges and suggest downloading the National Public Toilet Map app
Covid Safe Gardening

On a lighter note (though it actually looks quite heavy going!) here is volunteer Phillip Hayes from Berowra in his PPE doing some COVID safe garden maintenance.
 
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY

You know you've been volunteering for a while when half your life has been spent with Easy Care Gardening.  Easy Care Gardening is enormously thankful to all its volunteers, new and established.  This milestone, however, really needs to be celebrated.  “I am now in my 30th year with Easy Care Gardening, ...yep, I was 60 last year!”  Traditionally pearls are given for 30th anniversaries, but we want you to know Suzanne that we think YOU'RE the pearl!

Suzanne Saunders is quite modest about it however, saying “Volunteering can only offer rewards, the ability to gain knowledge and friendship from those around you, the mental support of a team who has known you for many years when things are tough, the ability to work as a team towards a specific objective, to be able to work off those calories from the morning teas …. and the driving force to continue it is the pleasure of hearing a “thank you” from the client for a job well done! "
 We are so lucky to have had Suzanne raise her family alongside our volunteers and clients, sharing the joy of gifting her time with so many.  "While I am fit and able I will continue to garden with ECG………………..

Looking towards the future, maybe we might even have grandchildren come along to gardening sessions in the future!

Check out our blog post to learn more of Suzanne's adventure to Australia from the UK and wonderful ECG stories.

 
HELPING HANDS

Have you got spare time on your hands at the moment?  We’d love to enlist your help on a variety of short and longer term projects.

* Tool time - can you help us sharpen, clean and sort tools? 
* Letter box drop - can you deliver some ECG flyers on your daily walk in areas within our 4 local government areas?
* Scanning documents - do you have a scanner and could perhaps scan and e-file some papers for us?
* Garage organiser - do you have a “neat streak” we could borrow to help us sort our garage at Pymble HQ?
* Something else you might be able to help with? We have a variety of IT problems to unravel and other skilled work that we’d love to have some assistance with if you have data base brilliance, grant application gifts, or any other 'hidden treasures' we could unearth during lockdown.

BASIC GARDENING
PRUNING TIPS

3 PM,16TH AUGUST 2021

Zoom in and join us as we run this special training for our volunteers.

Meredith Kirton, MAIH, Registered Horticulturist and Gardening Author, will run some online training. If you’ve wondered how to prune roses properly, when and why to feed, what should be the thickness of mulch and how much to cut back your rosemary... then this is the video session for you!

Register to attend by emailing marketing@easycaregardening.org.au and we will send you the link.
Do you think we have an Australian of the Year Local Hero among us?  Nominations close at midnight on the 31st July...sorry hurry to put someone forward. 

National Tree Day

National Tree Day started in 1996 and has grown into a huge event that has seen over 26 million trees being planted by over 5 million people.  Schools, councils and many community groups participate annually,  This year, most public events have been postponed or cancelled due to COVID, but there's no reason why you can not plant your own tree at home.
 
Daffodil Day
On August 23rd each month the Cancel Council of Australia hosts Daffodil Day.  Daffodils are a symbol of hope, and this much loved flower is in bloom in our gardens reflecting its gold glow of sunshine and message to Grow Hope.
YOU ARE FLOWER POWER fundraising campaign is this year's appeal.

7th August, 2021

#thanksforcaring 
Banners Waving
Teams should now have a banner to place outside each garden during maintenance.  If you're unsure how to assemble it click here, and if you'd like a banner and have missed out, let your coordinators know.  It's a great way to promote us, and start a conversation with people as they walk by.  If you missed out and want one for your team, let us know here.

Become a Volunteer
Not a volunteer yet?  Know someone who might want to help out? Sign up to Easy Care Gardening from as little 3 hours a month and help someone live independently. Check out our website here.

Find us online

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay up to date with all the latest Easy Care Gardening information and events or on our website.
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