Storm Ravaged Felixstowe Fence gets Muscles Treatment

Before

The Muscles team arrived to a waiting plate of biscuits and refreshments, before swiftly pulling down the old fence at the job in Felixstowe.

Ready for the dump!

After disposing of the old fence, the team split into two squads to focus on putting up the featherboard panels and replacing three old posts for the new gate.

Some of the old posts were only 4 inches deep, meaning the team had to dig down 2ft through layers of cement and clay to make sure the new posts would last longer than their predecessors.

The job was completed in just under 6 hours, with the usual amount of muscles banter and camaraderie in some lovely weather. In addition to the fencing, Sarah made sure the garden was also looked after and not damaged in the process.

After

Anne, the recipient of the job, had this to say about the team:

“Thank you to Muscles For Charity for stepping up to replacing my old fence.
It’s made the garden feel much fresher and given it a new sense of security!
The team was very professional and friendly throughout!”

A donation was made to St Elizabeth’s Hospice.

A job well done!

Muscles project number – 437
Total voluntary hours – 16,965

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Many hands make Light work!

The Muscles UK Team were tasked by the Mayor of Felixstowe Mark Jepson with a landscaping task at a primary school in Langer Road Felixstowe.
The job was clearing an area of old wood and removing to a skip for disposal. The ‘Felixstowe Men’s Shed’,  http://fms.onesuffolk.net, had pre made six large and heavy wooden raised planters which were transported to the site that morning along with several tons of top soil and loose decorative bark.

The muscles team was ten strong, including Kieron which made three generations of Grews. The team was joined by others to clear and level the site. Ron had the plan and measured out where the wooden planters were to be positioned.  
The levelling and wheelbarrowing was frantic filling topsoil in the planters and carrying the excess old surface to the end where it was being stacked in a new raised area.

Later in the morning a dozen men from the regiment at Woodbridge joined the team and the work rate accelerated again. Ground levelled, planters in place and filled, decorative bark laid, site generally tidied we finished early at about 11:30am 

Many hands did make work and the result was impressive. Another 30 hours of Muscles work completed. 

Muscles project number – 436
Total voluntary hours – 16,923

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UK Muscles Mates Job

Ahead of the incoming storm Arwen, the UK team jumped at the chance to help ‘Lady’ Sarah with a garden clear up.

With Alan watching over the team, the inclement weather held off for the ten volunteers who attended to trees, hedges and cutting up firewood.

Vera was on-hand to transport the green waste to the local dump over two trips.

Sarah is very thankful for the job and has sent us the following message:
“A Christmas Muscles miracle took place today at Brook Bottom Brewery.
Wow what a speedy transformation these wonderful gentleman achieved in only three hours despite the rain.
They quickly donned their all weather gear and with good humour and great kindness proceeded to chop, saw and totally tidy the complete garden from back to front!
you are truly amazing muscles men, thank you so so much.
You have no idea how thrilled we are with the clear up. Now the garden can go to bed for the winter. Alan would have been so pleased.
Sending you all much love and a humungous thank you!”

The team will all raise a toast to Alan as they sample some of his last brew.
Cheers Alan!

Muscles project number – 435
Total voluntary hours – 16,893

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UK Muscles Clear Garden for Long-Time Supporter

During what proved to be an unseasonably mild mid-November Saturday morning, seven Muscles volunteers returned to Sudbourne, Suffolk, UK, to complete a garden clearance and gatepost replacement task at the home of long-time MFC supporter, Kate.

After a total of 30 hours labour the volunteers had removed the old gatepost (which the original fitter had intended NEVER to be replaced!), fitted a replacement, poured and spread new shingle, pruned several trees, clipped several hedges, cleared gutters, removed plant growth from the side of the bungalow, planted snowdrops and daffodils for the Spring, demolished two lemon drizzle cakes and drank several cups of tea and coffee, before having to admit defeat by not finishing all of the meatball pasta and cheesecake that Kate had so liberally provided for lunch.

The outcome was a winter-ready garden and, again thanks to Kate’s generosity, donations being made to the Alzheimers Society, Cancer Research UK and The Royal British Legion.

Muscles project number – 434
Total voluntary hours – 16,863

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North American Muscles for Charity team supporting decorated 98 year old WW2 veteran, Dick Nelms.

During 1944, Richard A Nelms, then aged 21 years, completed the maximum number of 35 missions over Nazi occupied Europe piloting a B17 bomber manufactured in Seattle, USA.

Nowadays, Dick volunteers at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, standing beside a B17, captivating members of the public with explanations of his role and responsibility during World War 2.

During 1944, Dick flew all his 35 missions from RAF Rattlesden, Suffolk In 2017, Muscles for Charity volunteers from Suffolk met Dick at the Mercer Island Community Centre, near Seattle..

Dicks B17 bomber in World War 2 flew at a top speed 317mph, and cruised at 200mph with a 4,000lb bomb load. In the photograph below – 77 years later – Dick co-piloted an Executive jet from Chicago to Washington DC flying at 550mph at 41,000 feet.

Nowadays people from all over the world have their photographs taken with Dick at the Museum of Flight. This couple journeyed from Seville, Spain. Although he remains extremely sharp and thoroughly enjoys meeting people and reminding them of life during a World War, his eyesight is deteriorating, and he is not supposed to drive. Muscles for Charity volunteers now fulfill this role on a weekly five-hour basis, and Dick makes plans for his 100th birthday.

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Muscles Pave the Way for Easier Garden Access

Sunday 10th October 2021

Lupus UK has benefitted from a donation made from Bramford hosts Caroline and Mobbsy, who were the recipients of the services of MFC on 9th October 2021.

Before
After

The MFC team delivered a very professional service and were able to dig out and lay a new garden path as well as removing various unwanted foliage from a garden wall and the subsequent planting of 3 large bamboo trees.

Our hosts who provided constant tea / coffee and cakes were thrilled with the end result. Great job team!

Muscles project number – 432                                                                                                  
Total voluntary hours – 16,728

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Magnificent MFC benefit Cancer Research

Saturday 14th August 2021
Twelve members of the UK team descended upon Martlesham Suffolk where the tasks consisted of breaking up a large area of concrete , breaking some smaller concrete paths , removing an unwanted tree and general foliage clearance. 

The property is owned by Lauren and Rod Hills who are in the process of renovating the 1960 bungalow.

The concrete, which is due to be recycled was required to be broken and piled prior to the arrival of a digger / driver who will complete the next stages of an extension.

The team benefitted from the attendance of Aaron and his industrial breaker which made light work of breaking the concrete.

This was also complimented by two further breakers owned by Alan Seaman (thanks Al) and MFC. Excellent catering was provided by Lauren and Pam / Rob Soames who made sure that the team remained hydrated and fed throughout our stay (thank you).

A donation has been made to Cancer Research which is very close to MFC hearts (again thank you). The team worked in unison making sure that their hard efforts matched / exceeded the expectations of our hosts who were extremely pleased with the end result.

On behalf of Lauren, Rod & us sincere thanks to you and the Muscles Team for the tremendous amount of work you all got through this morning at Chandos. A real credit to you, Phil & all involved & much appreciated.  Lauren will sort out the donation at the earliest. Best regards, Rob & Pam

Muscles project number – 431                                                                                                     Total voluntary hours – 16,684

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Garden Shed Disposal

On Saturday 31 July 2021, Simon, Bernie and Phil from the UK team completed a quick garden shed disposal job in Faraday Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, following which a donation was made by the client to East Anglian Children’s Hospice (EACH).


Thanks to the use of Simon’s trailer, the team was able to transfer all of the old panels, windows, doors and associated debris to Foxhall Recycling Centre in one go, meaning that even with a quick break for tea / coffee and a breakfast slice, the whole task was completed in 90 minutes.

Muscles project number – 430                                                                                                     Total voluntary hours – 16,648

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UK Muscles return to action with garden clearance

On Saturday 24th July 2021 eleven members of the UK team embarked upon their first project of the year at the home of Chris in Henley Road, Ipswich. He approached the muscles team to help with an overgrown garden he had inherited having just moved to the property with his 3 children.

Before

Only 5 days previously Covid Pandemic restrictions been eased but precautions were still taken to reduce any risks.

Adam coming up with a genius solution to start the broken hedge trimmer

The weather remained dry and warm for the team as they set about clearing trees, bushes and other vegetation in the front and back gardens. A production line soon formed where all vegetation was brought to Richard operating the impressive shredder on kind loan from BTS, a local Suffolk company providing clearance services to the electricity distributor network nationwide.

A skip was on hand to receive the chipping the big orange monster churned out.

New member Kristina joined the team and soon got stuck in and enjoyed the comradery.

Chris and his girlfriend Vic provided halftime bacon sandwiches and drinks to keep the team going.

After the project completed Chris expressed his thanks to everyone who had volunteered their time and couldn’t believe the difference made in the 4 hours:

“Organiser and good friend Nick Bentley popped over to look at my new house and as we discussed the many jobs I had to do to get a rather tired property to somewhere near ship shape he suggested the possibility of getting muscles for charity over next weekend to help clear the gardens front and back. Leave it with me he said! Within the week he had arranged for 11 people to give up their Saturday mornings and had even arranged a chipper. All I did in prep was arrange for a skip and get the bacon and baps in! 🙂

My goodness they all arrived on-mass all friendly and polite and keen to get started. After a short brief they sprang into action. Dispersing to their allotted areas of the gardens. In a few short hours the entire front garden was cleared of overgrown vegetation and two tall firs were felled. This exposed a small cherry tree, plum tree and a lovely wall and iron fence I didn’t know I had as it was totally covered in ivy.

The back garden they removed a large old cherry tree that was growing into and smothering the garage and generally pruned and cleared so I can now see what I need to do and also I now have a sky view through nearly 20no. 10m tall firs. Like in the front garden they treated existing plants sensitively and again I discovered I had small cherry, plum, fig and olive trees.

What an enjoyable morning and thanks to all that gave up there time and participated in helping me out. I have now donated to Prostate Cancer UK who have thanked us and advised that the money is being put to good use already. Helping to diagnose, treat, prevent and support those with prostate cancer sooner.

Just as they arrived, they quickly disappeared into the distance smiling and waving although drenched in blood and sweat! Thanks once again Muscles for Charity. Great job!!!” 

Chris Harper

A healthy donation has been made to Prostate Cancer UK.

A job well done

Muscles project number – 429                                                                                                     Total voluntary hours – 16,643

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Muscles members, of all ages, complete second phase of garden project in Chehalis, WA, USA

Fiveteen members of the US Muscles for Charity team returned to Chehalis, WA on Saturday 24th April 2021 to complete a garden makeover project for recipient, Barb Blackwell, that was started in November 2020.

Returning to Barb’s home in the quiet, undulating countryside near Chehalis represented a promise made in November 2020 when a smaller Muscles team started to clear parts of her five acre garden in limited daylight hours.

On 24th April 2021, after eight consecutive days of temperatures above 70 degrees, the Pacific Northwest weather reverted to 100% rain and below average temperatures throughout the day.

View of the house after the team cleared shrubbery and wind fall debris.

Team members from California, CA and Spokane, WA (a round trip of 720 miles) were determined to overcome the weather as they removed and rebuilt an eight foot high ‘deer fence’, pressure washed the wooden deck areas, removed winter tree debris, cleared overgrown areas of the garden, and entrance, driveway and built two large burn piles.

Pressure washing the areas surrounding the house
Members of the team erecting new eight foot high fencing to deter deer from entering the garden area.

The team also welcomed the newest, youngest members of the US team, Kaya and Kaden, who impressed the senior members with their positive attitude and willingness to learn new skills.

One of burn piles resulting from clearing winter windfall

Barb’s comments after the event summarise the teams attitude and hard work, “As I wander around my place this morning, I smile and feel a great sense of hope. Thank you one and all! I’m inspired by the new fence line, it reminds me of a grand stage prop that should wear a red velvet curtain . . . chicken wire will have to do for now. I’m excited to haul stuff in my gorilla cart and decide where to place the Adirondack charirs, who knows how long they would have remained in an unassembled state. Trimming back the ferns, hauling and raking gravel, pressure washing, fence building and clearing windfall, (I know my Barbie chain saw would not have dealt with that) . . . all that and nice human beings too, gives me hope for humanity”

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