Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A busy day on the RESPECT trail

I got right into the RESPECT programme for Kensington and Fairfield today.

At 10am I was in Kensington Infants, helping our Park Rangers (that's Park Rangers, rather than the Power Rangers the littlies were hoping for) to make bird feeders with the nursery class. We started with a pine cone, tied a piece of string round it, dragged it through lard and dipped it in a box of bird seed, et la voila!

The Park Rangers were fantastic, perhaps they really are Power Rangers. They really engaged the group of young children, who can be very easily diverted and lose concentration. They showed them pictures of birds and explained how hard it is in winter for the birds to find any food to eat, then we all got our hands very mucky with lard and seeds. I particularly liked the idea that a pine cone covered in lard looks like a Christmas tree covered in snow - and it certainly does.

We made a horrible mess with the seeds so I found a carpet sweeper and cleaned up a bit, we had to leave the school looking tidy, especially as children spend so much of their school day sitting cross-legged on the floor.

From there I went to the council caravan in Lidl car park, where I joined two ladies from the Personal Health Trainer team, one from Bully Busters and another from Kensington Regen. There are photos but I have not taken them off the camera yet. We saw 100 people over the course of the day, and gave out bags and bags of free stuff and useful leaflets.

Saul Marks came over to the caravan so I asked him for a quick tour round the Jewish Cemetery on Deane Road to see the good work that the YOT have been doing in there this week. We have our working group meeting tomorrow night where hopefully we can get an update on our lottery bid hopes. Also I have a few leads on some more volunteers - we desperately need more, if you can help tear up weeds and scythe down brambles and ivy, in a very good cause, please get in touch.

I nipped over to the Job Bank in Wavertree to drop Jane off and took a bit of time to meet Maria Curran and the volunteers from the Fire Service Network who have been distributing (finally, hurrah) our Carbon Monoxide detectors, purchased by Kensington Regeneration and C7 in our pilot project. I fully expect some alarms to go off before the week is over, I think we are putting about 400 out this week, and at least one of them will have been installed in a house with a faulty appliance.

If we save only one life then all of our efforts will have been worth it.

It is 9 years this week since we buried my fiance, Michael Price, after he was accidentally poisoned by his fire through Carbon Monoxide detectors. It has taken over a year to get the detectors, find people who want them and find people to help install them, but it is really worthwhile and I feel I am starting to make an impact about something I am so passionate about.

I have thanked Maria and Kensington Regeneration and C7 before, but let me just do it again here, on behalf of Michael's family and friends, and the man in Old Swan I visited last week who has been poisoned at work, and the man in Edge Hill who has been poisoned at home, and everyone at Carbon Monoxide Awareness. You have really thrown yourselves into this and we are all incredibly thankful.

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