Students try a little kindness

Hannah, Bev, Patrick and Lily Woods are touched by the efforts of the backyard blitz team. Photo: Warren Lynam
Hannah, Bev, Patrick and Lily Woods are touched by the efforts of the backyard blitz team. Photo: Warren Lynam

Overwhelming was the first word Patrick and Bev Woods used to describe a Backyard Blitz-style project at their Pacific Paradise home yesterday.

About 25 Sunshine Coast Grammar School students, parents and teachers turned up to help their much-loved junior school art teacher, Bev, and her husband, Patrick, who have been doing it tough since Patrick was involved in a motorcycle accident in May.

The freelance photographer received two broken arms, a crushed spine, lacerations and bruising to his legs, and nerve damage.

He has spent the past three months in a back brace at home, undergoing weekly therapy, and has been unable to drive or help around the house.

The family has also had to deal with the death of Patrick’s and Bev’s fathers in the past 12 months.

In what was an emotional and uplifting day yesterday, the Grammar blitz team cleared overgrown gardens, planted trees, mulched and took loads of rubbish to the tip.

Patrick was amazed at the amount of work the team got through.

“I thought it was going to be a home mow and a prune,” he said.

“We can see the fence line now.

“There are so many good people. It lightens you up.”

Bev could not believe the transformation in the backyard.

“We should have taken before and after shots. It’s just incredible,” she said.

“I’m so touched because there are students here that I taught when I was teaching grade three ... they’re now in grade 12.”

Bev said Patrick’s recovery was “steady”.

“His hands are healing but his back is holding him up a bit,” she said.

He is easing his way back into the workforce. WorkCover currently allows him to work three hours, three days a week.

The blitz-style operation was the first project for Sunshine Coast Grammar School’s Helping Hands program, which gives students a chance to get involved in community service at the ground level.

The program has been inspired by TV shows such as Random Acts of Kindness and Backyard Blitz.

Organisers pastor Jon Taylor and teacher Ben Princehorn plan to lead similar volunteer projects once a term.

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