The LAGER Can tea party

A sunny day in July and the leafy courtyard of Horsenden Farm was the perfect back drop for the first ever event hosted by the Friends of Horsenden for a fellow volunteer group. The tea party was all about recognising and celebrating the efforts of LAGER Can, a collective of local people who work tirelessly and cheerfully keeping Ealing’s green spaces litter free. LAGER Can volunteers were awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in June 2021, and the tea party was our way of thanking them.

The tea party idea came about following a distressing car break in. Horsenden volunteer Lynda O’Hare was at the farm to help with various activities on a busy Saturday in May. She left her car in the car park at the farm, her handbag, suitcase and other items all stowed safely in the boot. Or so she thought. “I went to get a bottle of water at around 1.30pm and about 20 minutes later someone told me my back window had been smashed.” Lynda explained. The thieves got away with a laptop, clothing, handbag, purse and all its contents. Being robbed is a horrible experience and one that takes time to recover from and Lynda was devastated. 

The next morning, LAGER Can volunteers were out on a litter pick and they found a handbag, discarded in bushes near Paradise Fields. Picker Sue Ball took it home and posted a photo on Facebook. Lynda recognised the bag as hers, and thanks to Sue and husband Fred, was soon reunited with it. Lynda picks up the story; “This gesture reminded me of the care and kindness that is all around us. Sue saw the handbag and was really upset; she was  determined to return it to its owner. For me this is everything. The valuables I lost can be replaced, the inconvenience of stopping credit cards is soon forgotten.  I realised that as long as we celebrate goodness and kindness, we can overcome bad things and move on from them.”  

Move on she did. Lynda wanted to do something special to thank Sue and her fellow LAGER Can volunteers and that’s where the idea of a tea party came up. Lynda mentioned it to the volunteer teams at Horsenden and everyone wanted to get involved. From baking cakes and scones, to preparing the courtyard, to making cash donations and piles of sandwiches on the day the team worked their socks off. 

With 35 LAGER Can volunteers, 10 junior volunteers, 3 local councillors and 15 Friends of Horsenden volunteers, this was a tea party to be proud of! Luckily there were enough sandwiches, slices of cake, scones (made Cornwall style, jam first then cream) and cups of tea served by Lynda and the Friends to feed and water this small army.

There was such an abundance of mouth-watering baked treats that there were even a few leftover slices of cake. In the eco-friendly spirit in which the farm operates, they were selflessly rescued (and later devoured) by supporters.

For many there, the tea party was the first opportunity in a long time to meet with their fellow volunteer friends in a social setting. Sandy wrote to say:

Thank you so much for the planning, preparing, cooking, cleaning and teamwork. It was much appreciated and thoroughly enjoyable. To meet some old acquaintances, new ones and regulars – brilliant. There was so much joy and laughter in a safe environment. Thankyou again. God Bless From Sandy.

A big (and well-deserved) thank you to LAGER Can for all that you do in keeping Ealing’s places of nature we all love, so beautiful and cared for. It truly is appreciated, and we hope you know how grateful we all are.

Same time next year?

6 responses to “The LAGER Can tea party”

  1. Cathy Swift avatar

    This is a fabulous write up of a fabulous event! I did not know that our wonderful, kind member Sue Ball had found Lynda’s handbag.

    We all share your love of Horsenden Hill, and will continue to do what we can to keep it clean and deter antisocial behaviour.

    We are already looking forward to the 2022 tea party!

    Thanks, Lynda and team.

    Cathy Swift
    Administrator, LAGER Can

  2. Sally Dalzell avatar
    Sally Dalzell

    It was a lovely afternoon. So beautifully hosted by Farm volunteers, while we Cannes sat around being waited on. Thank you so much. And yes, please to next year.

  3. Kulwant Aris Athwal avatar
    Kulwant Aris Athwal

    The Tea Party sounds absolutely fabulous, the story too.
    I am proud to be a LAGER Can volunteer and although I missed this years event, I look forward to the next one.
    Thank you to everyone for supporting the volunteers and to the hosts.

  4. Sandy avatar

    Amen amen!!!
    Yes please
    I wonder what stories we will have to share.
    Could we see the pigs and cows next time?

  5. Colleen Koorbanally avatar
    Colleen Koorbanally

    Thankyou Sue Ball and Fred! Without you we wouldn’t have had such a lovely tea. Lynda and the HH Farm team worked so hard to provide us with those delicious goodies and endless cups of tea. I look forward to next year and am so proud to be a Lager Canner. We have such lovely people in this group. Been great getting to know everyone and make new friends! xx

  6. Natasha avatar

    Thank you so much to Lynda and fellow volunteers for hosting a truly delightful and highly enjoyable afternoon for us LAGER Canners. Reading how the tea party came about was truly humbling. You spoilt us all with the delicious treats and I am sure that everyone there appreciated the hard work that went into organising the event. A heartfelt thank you to you all and count me in for next year !