West London - 22nd August 2013

A forgotten park of Hammersmith & Fulham was today brought back to life for the hundreds of local residents who used it every day by a group of volunteers from General Electric (GE). Mary Seacole Memorial Park, is a small park dedicated to the life and work of Mary Seacole, a Jamaican nurse who helped British soldiers in the Crimean War who is buried in Kensal Green cemetry, and has fallen into disrepair in recent years with bushes overgrown, scruffy benches and graffiti on the walls.

Not to be found on a map, it is located just to the north of Mitre Bridge on Scrubs Lane, on the edge of the Grand Union Canal (NW10 6QY), this easy-to-miss park is frequented by many local people every day (local residents, people walking along the canal and passing canal boats). Many local residents came out to watch the volunteers mow the grass, trim bushes, sand down, paint and varnish benches as well as sweep paths and paint over graffiti. One canal boat resident was particularly impressed with the work being carried out by the volunteers, “Thank you so much, we very much appreciate it as this is our home!”

Organised by Works4U, a local social enterprise whose mission is to help businesses work in the community through volunteering, a group of nearly 40 international volunteers from GE tackled the work in rainy conditions. Leading the volunteers, Flavien Rouche, from GE’s Healthcare Division, was glad his team were able to give something back to the community and was proud of the teamwork shown. Works4U’s Chief Operating Officer, Dominic Pinkney, “It is so great to see this little tranquil park back to its full glory. We are very glad to help GE and many other businesses connect with the local community.”

Mary Seacole, who was born in Jamaica to a Scottish father and a Jamaican mother and voted as greatest Black Briton in 2004, has been a subject of controversy recently as it had been mooted to drop the work she carried out from the national curriculum. This led to international protest, including a petition signed by approximately 35,000 signatures in January 2013 to Education Secretary Michael Gove to keep her in the curriculum as well as American Civil Rights activist and politician Rev. Jesse Jackson writing to the The Times to object about the proposed removal. The protest was a success and the work of Mary Seacole remains on the national curriculum.

If you have a community venue that could benefit from business volunteers or you are business who wants to work in the community, please contact Works4U 020 8741 9876 or email enquiries@works-4u.com.

Photo Credits

  1. Mary Seacole Memorail Park by Grand Union Canal
  2. Flavien Rouche and GE Volunteers at Work
  3. GE Volunteers restoring a bence
  4. Stencils painted by GE Volunteers relate to Mary Seacole
  5. Herbs and Plants images as Mary Seacole used these greatly her in treatments
  6. Mary Seacole Memorial Park and Grand Union Canal
  7. Mary Seacole Memorial Park
  8. GE Volunteers together at Mary Seacole Memorial Park
  9. GE Volunteers at work


The Volunteering Professionals
Part of the HFVC Group
HFVC
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Works4U
148 King Street,
Hammersmith. W6 0QU

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Phone: 020 8741 9876
Fax: 020 8741 3344
Email
enquiries@works-4u.com
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Forgotten Mary Seacole Memorial Park, rejuvenated by Volunteers From General Electric
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