Jack’s Duke of Edinburgh Project

Posted on Thursday, January 12th by: Stephen Pike

By Jack Price


I cut wood with a saw to make different things. I have made a reindeer and a giraffe. I measured and cut wood into the right size. I learnt how to drill holes into wood and put the legs and head onto  the giraffes body. I learnt how to chop wood. I feel more confident with wood work such as sawing, at first sawing was hard for me but now I am more confident at doing this myself. I also learnt how to persevere and not to give up.


Posted on Friday, October 21st by: Stephen Pike


By Paul Oliver

I remember Sara Gentry used to come here she was good friends with Elisabeth a long time ago when Earthworks started back in 1995.


At Earthworks Halloween Party back in 2006 I remember Zoe came that year with Pam Robertson.


Zoe has been good friends with her son Ben as they both used to go to Watling View School together I have also been good friends with Zoe as I first remembered her when she used to go on the Summer Scheme at college back in 2001.

At Earthworks Halloween Party 2006 I remember Zoe dressed up as a rabbit and wore face paints at party.




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Here is some photos of Daniel when I was on holiday scheme and at Weekenders back in 1990s Daniel had become happier with me as a great friend on Summer Scheme and Weekenders when Barbara ran it.


Here is a picture of Marc at Earthworks back in 2004 when he first came to Earthworks there was a lot of niceness and gentleness between me and Marc.
At Trinity Church we staged The Old Time Musical years ago I remember Fran came with Steve Hempsall and his young child.



Also Robert and Vikki with husband also came.






I remember Robert helped to do the barbecue at Summer Fair 2000



I remember I invited Teighe to the Earthworks Christmas Party in 2009 he used to live in Stotfold in Bedfordshire after he left St. Elizabeth’s College in Much Hadham. It was my first time I had seen Teighe since 2008. It had been Thursday December when there was a lot of snow which came that year.



I first met Elisabeth in 1990 she also did St Albans Self Advocacy Group and was also a campaigner against injustice and she started Earthworks. I used to go and visit Elisabeth when she lived at Gombards and we used to read maps together.

I started campaigning to get people out into the Countryside because I felt people do not venture into the great outdoors.

Going to the great outdoors helps people get fit and active instead of sitting in front of the television or people seeing people doing in by watching it the movies.



Memorial Day 2016

Posted on Friday, April 29th by: Stephen Pike

By Paul Oliver

The Memorial Day went very well.

Roma came I paid a great tribute to my much missed friend Daniel with a wooden sculpture to represent two people being happy friends together.

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We also looked at photos to do some reminiscing about Daniel and other people I have also been friends who I became good friends with a lady on the Holiday Scheme at College.

Although I had never met her at Earthworks I became good friends with a lady from 2001 to 2003 Holiday Schemes. I talked to Roma about having made friends with Katie Moore.

Notably on Summer Scheme 2002, Christmas Scheme 2002. It was this scheme when we went bowling in Hemel Hempstead by the end of 2002. I asked Katie “Who would you like to be with?” and Katie said “Me”.

Katie chose me.

Easter Scheme 2003 and Summer Scheme 2003 me and Katie had become great friends for a little while.

In the cinema me and Katie Moore sat next to each other side by side that showed me that Katie did like me.

After Summer Scheme 2003 Katie left to start Briar Patch and North Herts College in 2003.

Here is a picture of me and Katie being happy together.



At the Memorial Day. Mary Lusby came with her Grandchildren Dora and Evie.



I told her I went to visit Bromham in Bedfordshire where there is a mill and an old bridge over the River Great Ouse.

There are many old bridges spanning the River Great Ouse notably also at Harrold and Felmersham.

Several times at Memorial Days, Elisabeth’s other daughters Lisa Heller and Helen Hillman come occasionally not as much as Mary because they both live in Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Another man who really got on with at Earthworks was Jason Given. I recall he came on Summer Scheme 1996. Then Earthworks he was a quiet man but I got on very well with him.



He used to live in Wheathampstead, Stanborough in Welwyn Garden City and moved to Dunstable in Bedfordshire.

At Apple Day event at Shenley Park Frances, Richard and Sarah were there I remember when I came on Wednesdays I used to see Richard Massey in the morning and Sarah years later. Sarah now lives in Devon.




Posted on Friday, March 18th by: Stephen Pike

By Paul Oliver

I recall Elisabeth used to come to the events notably, Earthworks Summer Fair, Halloween Parties, Christmas Parties.


I used to talk to her about walks I had done notably holidays I went on and the birds I have seen notably at Earthworks.

I also used to do country walks with Elisabeth in 1999 by River Mimram Welwyn to Dark Lane ford in the valley below Codicote.

And an East Herts country walk from Standon to Thundridge visiting several fords over the River Rib at Standon, Latchford, Hanging Wood, Barwick ford and Cold Christmas ford.


I had made some very nice friendships with other people who used to come to Earthworks there was a kind man called Marc who I had first made friends with back in 1998 Summer Scheme at College, I then continued meeting Marc on Passport To Leisure trips and Friendship Scheme. And at Earthworks I remember when he came to Earthworks back in 2004.


Marc made me happy here and at other groups he was gentle to me numerous times here.

Me and Marc used to go to Earthworks every Wednesday until 2005 When I started coming Fridays until present time.

In 2004 and 2005 Marc came to the Christmas Parties and it was a very pleasant time having Marc around.

Marc now lives in Norwich, Norfolk with his Aunty Judy.

But back in 2008 Friday 31st October Marc visited Earthworks and I had a nice reunion and shared good memories

It was also the day of the Halloween Party and Emma put face paints on Marc and again Marc was so kind to me.


I also had a 2 minute cloth fight with Phil at Halloween Party I also saw Elisabeth for the last time.

Elisabeth sadly passed away in November 2008.

I went to Elisabeth’s funeral at St Albans Cathedral and gave a good tribute speech to her at Cathedral.

Despite Elisabeth’s passing I have become friends with the rest of her family notably, Mary Lusby, Lisa Heller and Helen Hillman

The first time in 2009 I decided to hold an event originally called Elisabeth’s Day as she was the lady who started Earthworks and very important person.

It was Elisabeth’s Day until 2013 when in 2014 it was renamed Memorial Day in tribute to people and friends of Earthworks who had passed away.

Back in 2004 when I first came to Earthworks we had some learners from Watling View School

There was a young man who came in the group called Teighe but it was not until 2005 a miracle happened at Earthworks.

I said ‘Hello’ to Teighe and he responded to me Teighe said ‘Hello Paul’ and we shook hands together it was nice gesture I had from him.


Later in 2005, me and Teighe continued to meet up it cemented my friendship with him.

Teighe made me laugh like Marc did.

In 2009 he came to the Christmas Party..

In 2013 Teighe came to Elisabeth Day and he was exceptionally nice to me.

When it became Memorial Day in 2014 Teighe came again we planted a Welsh apple tree in Memory of Lynette Warren.

Lynette’s family came and planted some flowers floated tea lights on pond

I recall sitting next to Teighe also Mary Lusby came again and told her about my walks and places I visited.


Back in 1993 when the college held the Summer Scheme I became good friends quickly first with Daniel.

He came on the Summer Scheme at college from 1993 to 1997 when he moved to a college down in Somerset until 2003.

I made Daniel very happy on the scheme we always smiled at each other he had no other friends like me he had a lot of empathy he shared with me no one ever had the courage to walk over to him and shake hands and sign ‘Good Morning’ to Daniel.


When Daniel came back to St Albans.

But during 2004 during a Christmas fair at Earthworks while he was in hospital for lengthy period Daniel came with Barry Johnston and his Mum Roma he again smiled at me he seemed to sense I was the right person for him to have a friend like me again.

Several Summer Fairs Daniel used to come with Steve Hempsall and Roma in 2006.

He again was very pleased to see me.


Paul Oliver’s Autumn Update

Posted on Monday, October 19th by: Stephen Pike

Autumn has arrived we have been doing lots of jobs here such as we have been making Halloween decorations.

We did a 5 mile sponsored walk for Earthworks on Sunday 20th September 2015 in which I took part. It was a nice sunny day we started at Nuffield Health Club and did a circular walk stopping at Earthworks I did the rest of the walk back to the Nuffield Health Club to complete the 5 miles.

We have had a good harvest this year of Spaghetti squash, runner beans, pumpkins, patty pan squash, crystal lemon cucumbers, stripy tomatoes, sweetcorn, beetroot, chard, chillies, kale and herbs. We had our stall on The Farmers Market last Sunday, and at the St. Albans Food and Drink Festival 2015 where we sold home made chutney and recently pressed apple juice at the beginning of October.

I have been writing letters to my friends as well to keep in touch with them to tell what I have been doing.

The flowers are still blooming notably the sunflowers they attract birds like goldfinches. We are saving some of the seeds to grow next year and leaving some for the birds.

By Paul Oliver, Earthworks Trainee

Easter at Earthworks

Posted on Sunday, May 3rd by: Stephen Pike

With life and lots of colour blooming onsite, it was the perfect place to celebrate Easter in an Earthworks fashion. A few weeks prior to Easter, lots of hard work and preparation for our Easter celebrations was completed by staff, volunteers and trainees onsite who created beautiful Easter decorations which were dotted around inside The Warren.

One of the most outstanding and much loved Easter decorations was our Easter Chick, which took pride and place in front of our log burner. 20150327_154112

This year, we were very lucky to have our Easter egg hunt in the glorious Spring sunshine! Our trainees searched high and low onsite to find handmade Easter egg cutouts, which were carefully hidden around the site.

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After working up an appetite from the Easter egg hunt, our volunteers and trainees received personal, handcrafted baskets which included a mini Easter egg!

Purchase Direct Hold a Charity Day for Earthworks

Posted on Monday, March 30th by: Stephen Pike

Earlier this month Purchase Direct (based in Welwyn Garden City) kindly selected to raise money for Earthworks at their annual staff charity day. It looks like the team had loads of fun enjoying Earthworks inspired activities whilst raising a grand total of £1248.50 for us! Everyone at Earthworks is extremely grateful to receive this money which will help us to continue to provide our unique and important service.

Purchase Direct were very pleased to be able to raise £1248.50 for Earthworks. The day was extremely fun packed and eventful, with everyone participating in various events throughout. The day itself was fruit and vegetable themed, with staff arriving to the office in various costumes and flower decorations. We had a pineapple costume, a man sized banana and various flower power outfits strolling about the office.

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We had staff who made and donated food and cake to sell. We had the traditional lemon drizzle cake, carrot cake and an unusual (but delicious) courgette chocolate cake, along with lots of other home cooked tasty treats!! Our lovely Martyn spent most of his day in the kitchen, mixing up various fruit smoothies for the staff!

We ran a ‘bring a fruit and vegetable friend competition’, where staff made models of people we know out of various pieces of fruit and veg, with a prize of a chocolate egg for the winner!!! We had a Yoda, Bananarama and a Minion, which were just a few out of the many that had entered – obviously we have some very talented people in our office who have lots of spare time on their hands!!!

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We also held a raffle, where some of our suppliers kindly donated prizes to help raise more money for Earthworks. This alone raised around £500!! Finally, we held some more sporty events throughout the day which included apple bobbing, a fruit and veg quiz and of course your coconut shy!!!

Sharon Nicholson, Product Manager Purchase Direct Ltd.

St. Albans Christmas Market

Posted on Thursday, November 27th by: Stephen Pike

Wreath2We will be in the charity chalet at the St. Albans Christmas Market on Tuesday 2nd December. We will be letting people know what we do and selling a few things we have made on site.  This is the second year St. Albans is running a German style outdoor Christmas market in the run up to Christmas.  There will be plenty of other stall holders who will be selling handmade, unique goods.  There is also a variety of hot food stalls.    If you are planning a visit, come and say hello!  The market is open from 11.00am and finishes at 6.00pm. You will find the market in the Vintry Gardens next to St. Albans Abbey and SantaLogCathedral.  Fiona Gulliver

Willmott Dixon Teams Lend a Hand at Earthworks

Posted on Monday, September 29th by: Stephen Pike

26 September 2014

Our Market garden was a hive of activity today as a large team of staff members from Willmott Dixon Construction Hitchen busily worked together renovating our vegetable beds.

The market garden area was built in 2005, and aside from an annual top up of woodchip on the pathways it was largely made up of the original timbers, now completely rotten!

We were extremely grateful then to have so many talented and energetic helpers who rebuilt every single bed in just one day! Willmott Dixon also kindly donated the materials required for the job and brought in a grabber truck to remove a huge heap of clay and rocks from our carpark – left over from the Warren building project.

Thank you very much from everyone at Earthworks to all who came along and worked so hard, and extra special thanks to Edward Hindley who organised the event as part of his management training challenge!

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More Pictures from the 2014 Open Garden

Posted on Monday, September 22nd by: Stephen Pike

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Treasure Hunters scoured the gardens for clues!


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Painting ladybirds and bees.

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Shopping at Earthworks!


Viv Marshall, long time supporter of Earthworks, made a surprise appearance much to the delight of her Earthworks friends.


An expert panel of judges carefully reviewed the Bake Off entries, congratulations to Johnny who’s tasty ‘Date and Rice Crispy Syrupy Yumyum Slice’ took 1st prize!