Friday, 17 June 2011

as told by me

ok, after that lil moan i guess i should actually bless you with the newspaper article that will hopefully see the light of day sometime soon, i don't know why i didn't just get on with it and post it up sooner but never mind

i do know that a second group of Orange Rockcorp volunteers were at Forty Hall Vineyard this week, so it is still a timely piece (just about)

Why would you want to read about me digging up weeds, pushing around wheelbarrows and spreading manure, and why is it relevant at all to my music column?

The reason me and around 50 others were putting in hard work at London's only commercial scale vineyard was all down to the return of Orange's Rockcorps initiative for 2011.

Launched in the UK in 2008, Rockcorps has been inspiring music fans to help communities and charitable organisations, with 4 hours volunteering being rewarded with a ticket to an exclusive gig with an all-star line-up.

This was my second year involved, having helped rejuvenate the Selby Centre in Tottenham last year and seeing a gig headlined by Pendulum, also featuring N-Dubz and Mark Ronson, I was more than up for mucking in all over again, especially knowing that a local organisation would benefit from it

Because tucked out of sight behind the stately Forty Hall, and unknown to many residents, fifteen acres of land is home to a community led and community driven vineyard.

The maintenance of the plants is essential throughout the year and whilst it was Rockcorps volunteers handling it this time around to keep the weeds under control and give the vines the best chance at growth, the vineyard also accepts volunteers from all walks of life, working with a wide range of local residents including adults and young people with learning disabilities, people suffering mental distress and young people at risk.

The graft and the goals seem to unify so many of the people involved, and it is uplifting to see everyone brought together and working alongside each other.

Although by the end of it i had a couple of blisters on my hands and my back ached, it had been worth it to join like-minded people for a few hours where everyone feels equal and comfortable in a situation so far removed from our usual social circles.

Primal Scream will top this years bill, but regardless of the exclusive gig, and despite the hard work necessary, I genuinely feel that you get out so much more than you put into it.

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