In what has established itself as a Muscles for Charity tradition, on Saturday 18th May a combined team of UK & Belgian volunteers made the journey over to Tongerlo Abbey to help the abbey with garden maintenance.
The team (led by Captain Johan) worked in the Da Vinci Garden, tidying and weeding.
In words by brother Kris:
“Weeds were removed, paths tidied, lawns lined, ivy pruned … They went hard against it and not as hairdressers but as ‘garden hairdressers’ – they redesigned part of our garden.”
The debut of the ‘Usher Knot’
The team was rewarded by an impressive lunch buffet and some of the abbey’s infamous beer.
The Brits were once again kindly hosted by the Rens in their family cabin, who made sure their guests were always well fed.
The team playing a game of Kubbs (we won’t talk about the results)
A job of Fun, Sweat and Beer – here’s to many more international jobs in the future.
Muscles project – 417 Overall voluntary hours – 15,772
Spokane, Washington is the 105th largest city in the United States, (population of 217,000) and annually attracts over 50,000 people who run (or walk) a 12 kilometre (7.64 mile) course benefiting a local charity, on the first Sunday in May, known locally as ‘Bloomsday’.
Supporting the 2019 ‘Bloomsday’ event were a number of US Muscles for Charity team members, including three generations of the local ‘Skaufel family’.
Continuing a tradition started decades ago led by Neal and supported by daughters Jenny and Becky and their children, Kaya, Sophie and Kayden.
Also in the massive crowd, on a hot Sunday morning, were the Millikens, – Amy, Steve and David.
This year the chosen charity – ‘Second Harvest‘ specialize in helping someone in need in a local neighbourhood put nitrous food on their table.
Muscles project number – 416 Overall total of voluntary hours – 15,697
“It’s totally amazing, you’ve absolutely transformed it!”
10 volunteers from the UK team descended on a rural Campsea Ashe garden to transform a garden corner into a gated vegetable patch.
Despite some very fickle weather of hail, wind and sun, the team displayed the usual productive spirit.
The team set about weeding & clearing the old patches, constructing an archway/ trellis & chicken wire fencing around the area.
Work also completed included cutting back dead branches on an apple tree, construction of a ‘chicken door’ to allow poultry access to the patch, and consumption of delicious sausage/bacon rolls.
The activity resulted in a donation to Secret World Wildlife Rescue Charity.
Since the first job, Adam returned alone to put together a new chicken house and patio for their inflatable hot tub.
Muscles project number – 415
Overall total of voluntary hours – 15,682
On a pleasant morning, the midweek team visited the beach at Ramsholt, Suffolk where retired skipper Richard Clarke enlisted muscles assistance to scrub and anti foul the hull of his boat ‘Will Laude’ and dory used as a tender.
The hamlet of Ramsholt sits alongside the river Deben and the task involved initially scrubbing both boats as the tide ebbed to reveal the undersides.
Working within the shadow of the Ramsholt Arms Pub provided an agreeable lunchtime retreat to allow the boats to dry out and a number of ‘true’ stories to be shared amongst the friends.
The afternoon saw an application of antifoul paint to the vessels to finish a good days work that shall result in a donation to the Aldeburgh lifeboat.
The team of Nick, Adam, Ed, Richard, Alan, Clive, and Kev appear within the photos with old friend Colin Booker and skipper Richard Clarke.
Muscles project number – 414
Overall total of voluntary hours – 15,632
A team of 13 volunteers descended on a Martlesham garden, despite drizzly weather, to lay a patio.
After assessing the job, the team donned the usual safety equipment and divided into groups to prepare the area and materials.
Sub-teams were created were formed to split the tasks of preparation of the ground, layout design & cutting of paving slabs, mixing cement (in Lady Sarah), and pointing/ shingle dressing to finish.
A very dusty Adam
This job was in benefit of Ipswich Hospital Baby Bereavement Group.
Following completion of the patio job, a small team went for a quick mate’s job of some moderate tree surgery in Bernie’s garden.
Muscles project number – 412 Total voluntary hours – 15,582
Thanks for visiting the Muscles for Charity website. For more information on our charity auction lots, please watch the video below.
Muscles for Charity will offer the winning bidder the opportunity to complete a project for them. For example -constructing a fence or shed, making over a garden, laying paving slabs, clearing out a garage – the team will leave you with a smile on your face.
Please feel free to browse this website for examples of previous jobs for inspiration and ideas on what we could achieve in your garden, house or shed. If you have any queries about the suitability of the job you have in mind please email in to firstname.lastname@example.org.
At short notice, the call went out to assemble a 5-man team of shady characters.
The team got a tip-off that an Ipswich branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland was closing down the following Monday, giving them a one-day window to get their hands on a self-contained interview pod for our friends at Inspire Suffolk.
The interview pod was disassembled and loaded into the getaway vehicle – Inspire provided their minibus to transport the goods from the bank, back to their headquarters
Once clear of the bank, the team reassembled the pod at Inspire HQ, which has since been very useful to Inspire by making better use of their office facilities.
An example of Inspire Suffolk’s great work can be found through the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdbIpoBiyck
Muscles project number – 410 Total voluntary hours – 15,520
This festive season marks the conclusion of the twentieth year of Muscles for Charity activity, and the beginning of the twenty first. During that time our award winning, volunteer activity has topped 15,500 hours, (spread across ten different countries), and generated funding and awareness for 130 registered charities or non profits.
Underpinning everything is an outstanding ability to combine (international) friendship, hard work and fun as we assist people and organisations without handling any money.
Thank you for your contribution to the overall success.
During 2018 that success was reflected when Belgian team leader Johan Rens, and his wife Else, were invited by the Prior of Tongerlo Abbey to join them on 6th June to celebrate the feast of St Norbertus and the anniversary of its founding in 1128.
Johan describes the event, “What a special day it was! After a service, in Latin, we followed Brother Gabriel and the brotherhood to their private dining room. Try to imagine the most beautiful painted room, a long festive table on which was served a five course meal with wine and liquors. In the best possible atmosphere. After that the Prior personally thanked Muscles for Charity for all the hard work, commitment, the difference they made, and the friendship”
As we celebrate and step into another New Year, it is a pleasure to acknowledge the contribution of the sons and daughters of volunteers and look forward to the continuing success of Muscles for Charity.
After weather scares delayed the final job of the year, 7 volunteers set about transforming the overgrown backyard of Emma’s Florists last Saturday morning.
The aim of the job was to remove enough vegetation so that the garden could be used as storage space and car parking for Emma’s Florists.
To combat the vast amount of greenery the team utilised an industrial shredder, without which the provided skip would have been full very quickly.
The work enabled the back gates to the yard to be closed for the first time in long while, hopefully putting a stop to the frequent occurrence of fly-tipping.
Grateful words from Emma:
“I just wanted to thank the team for their work in the backyard, it looks amazing!”
The job benefited Inspire Suffolk, the second job for the great charity in the past few weeks – both sourced from their charity auction last month.
A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!
Muscles project number – 409 Total voluntary hours – 15,500
To celebrate the twenty years since Muscles for Charity was formed, a movie has been made from the many photos that record the fun, friendship and camaraderie displayed by our team in working hard to complete the many and varied projects that have generated donations to over 130 registered charities and non profits, whilst benefiting our many grateful customers.
Please click on the link (below) to view the movie which, it is hoped, reflects the very essence of Muscles.
Hint – turn up your volume, the movie is packed with great music !
Thank you for being an important part of Muscles for Charity.