Help is at Hand

drainA key aspect of our project is that it is a community self-build. So it’s great, even at this early stage to have people involved, sharing skills and time.

Thanks to Kevin, who spent an afternoon making a topographic survey, and his friend, who transferred the data into a usable format.

Thanks to Heath, who surveyed the drain runs, and to Hilary and Purnima who measured all the boundary fences.

Thanks to RIchard & Lucy who have used their experience as planning consultants to offer invaluable help in our planning application.

Funding Success

fundingfromwf01-01We are tremendously excited to announce that the Walcot Foundation has decided to award us £40,000 over two years in recognition that our project will help get young people into work by training them in both “soft” and “hard” skills.  Walcot don’t only give money – they also give on-going support.  Their application process was quite demanding, but they were extremely helpful throughout, and we look forward to continuing partnership.

We have also been awarded £7,000 by All Churches Trust which is slightly bigger than their average donation.

Many thanks to all our supporters.

Can YOUR employer help?

When Farah, a member of our church community, knew that we were raising money for such a great project, she spoke to the person in charge of her work’s charitable giving scheme. As a result, she secured £500 from her employer, Land Securities, towards our community hub. Thank you Farah!

Many firms have schemes to support good causes – why not ask someone where you work about how they could help?

£10,000 raised through Vicar’s Marathon!

2014-10-04 17.16.41An amazing £10,000 (including Gift Aid) has been raised through Richard’s marathon, thanks to generous sponsorship and commitment by all the runners.

A number of donations came in the post from people we didn’t know at all.  One of the most amazing was from an elderly lady who had read about our project in the Church Times, and remembered teaching the Vicar’s wife, Ruth, in Sunday School many decades ago!

Marathon Success For All!

The finishing Line

We were all winners last Saturday when our vicar, Richard, completed his Greater Tulse Hill Straw Bale Marathon in a time of 5 hours 20 minutes. Among those who accompanied him were Tarron, aged 8, who ran a big 2k; Jaleel, the third fastest U13 100m sprinter in the country; Ally, who signed up for 10k but just kept on running to cover more than half the course; Pete, Dave, and Anne, who live with a variety of physical disabilities.

Richard said, “I was expecting it to be a gruelling and painful experience, but the company and cameraderie actually made it easy – a word I never dreamed I’d be using of the marathon. What it really shows is the power of doing things together – which is what this project is all about.”

It was a winning formula of prayer, skill sharing (eg massage!), equipment (eg the right strapping), mutual support, vision and careful preparation.  The wet weather, which was timed to perfection after 90 minutes sunshine, also helped – though when we start building with straw, we’ll want that aspect to pan out a little differently!  You can still sponsor the marathon through this link:

Marathon Route Mapped Out

The Greater Tulse Hill Marathon is being run by our vicar, Richard, on 4th October, with nearly twenty others running alongside for parts of the way.  Richard says, “I’ve only been running a couple of years, but I’ve managed 20 miles twice now, so I think I’ll be able to stagger through to the end.”

You can sponsor Richard here .  So far we’ve raised over £5,000.

The route has now been mapped out, you can look at it here: MARATHON ROUTE.  The runners one of the fastest 11 year old sprinters in England, one or two people who have never run more than a few yards, but have been training; and three older people with disabilities.  We want to make the marathon inclusive because our whole project is inclusive.

Put the date in your diary to come and support us – timings will be posted here.

New Painting by our Resident Artist

Model Making at Holy Trinity School Fair
Model Making at Holy Trinity School Fair

So – we did it!  Built a more or less to scale model of the new building at the school fair – just under 2metres long. Carrying it back to church was like transporting the ark of the covenant.  Fortunately no-one stumbled and met with instant death!  Here is Priscilla Watkins’ sketch of the proceedings.

Our model will be THIS big…

testing out the modelOnly another 46 bricks of florists’ foam to cut into 8… A bit more wood chopping, then pack it all away to be created at the Holy Trinity School Fair.  To represent hazel pins, we’ll be using kebab sticks (not shown here).

If it all comes together without all falling down it will be quite a good activity – though we might end up with the adults having fun more than the kids!

I think we may need to paint those bales yellow – before they are eventually rendered with Plaster of Paris at the Lambeth Country Show. Otherwise the foam will suck up the moisture and the plaster will crack.

salt dough tyres-webAnd check out our car tyre foundations(!) – 100 of them lovingly made by Jacky from Salt Dough, and painted at our homework club.

All in all, a great educational experience – and will be for all who take part.  The materials for this model cost a little bit.  If you would like to sponsor the model, donate here.


Preparing Straw Bale Model for School Fair

getting ready for the big model
getting ready for the big model

On 14th June at we’ll be making a 2 metre long model of the main part of our Straw Bale annex at Holy Trinity School Fair.  Those helping build the model will be able to see how a straw bale building is constructed and learn something about the advantages.

The “bales” will be made from flower arranger’s foam. The car tyres are formed from salt dough. Not quite sure about the roof yet – it could be thin mdf. Fulham Timber in Acre Lane will be helping with some scrap wood. We plan to repeat the operation at the Lambeth Country Show in July – but on this occasion we shall also “render” the model in plaster of paris.

Church & Community Building with Straw Bales in Tulse Hill