In recent weeks and months, spending time outside of the home has often been a fraught activity. Some of the local streets, and even parks, where we have so many happy memories have been places to move through quickly.
Therefore, it is great to see one local woman take the time and effort to create a trail of painted stones in Hylands Park. Right now, it is sometimes the small things that matter the most, and the work carried out by Arlene, a Hornchurch resident, has caught the imagination of many others in the local area.
While Arlene admits to being inspired by seeing similar projects on the internet, she brought it to life in the local life. The project gained traction on Facebook, and more than 600 stones have been added. One local news source estimates the snake, which Arlene is calling COVID The Cobra, is 50 metres long.
Arlene spoke to a local news source about the project, saying; “I have been at home for the last 12 weeks with a three-year-old, stuck indoors, and I have spent lots of days going around local parks and putting up little signs of encouragement for people, little challenges for children.”
Arlene continued by saying; “I went to Homebase, and got a few stones, started painting, and I just can’t believe that today we’re over 600 stones.”
There is information on a tree close to the snake which explains the project and also encourages people to get involved.
Local families can join in the fun
Arlene also spoke about stones, saying; “I’ve been leaving them in Hylands Park all week and I really want to give everybody the opportunity to get stones. If you get down to Hylands Park this weekend, please collect your stone, decorate it and bring it back to Covid the Cobra. You do not need to have a stone from the park – it can be small; it can be big. Whatever you want. Please upload any of your photos, we would love to see them.”
Arlene’s artistic endeavours haven’t just been confined to her local park; she has also brightened up her garden at Norman Road. The house has been dubbed a fairy garden, and there are stickers left out for local children.
Arlene has also brightened up her garden to entertain local children
Like many people in and around Hornchurch, Arlene has embraced the community spirit, and she wanted to play her part in supporting residents in a tough time.
Arlene said; “I know myself that entertaining a three-year-old is extremely difficult and we can’t go anywhere so walking is our saviour really. We’ve all got busy lives … and I think now we’re just sitting back. Everybody has to stop because everybody’s not been going to work so I think we all just have that little bit of extra time for each other. I’ve been shopping for some of my elderly neighbours and it’s been so wonderful talking to them which I never really did before.”
We think there is a tremendous sense of community spirit in and around Hornchurch, and Arlene’s efforts are a prime example of how one person can impact their surroundings, and the people around them.
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