LOCAL ORGANIC VOLUNTARY ECONOMIES
L.O.V.E. cares about people
L.O.V.E. cares about the environment
L.O.V.E. cares enough to make a difference
L.O.V.E. began when B’lkaar Singh met Raul Ospina. On the surface they seemed very different; a Sikh and a Columbian christian. But they shared one thing in common, one thing which made every other detail insignificant- an unshakeable belief in the ‘power of Love’. They started simply by working voluntarily for a local landowner, helping to grow vegetables and care for livestock. They did it because they enjoyed each others’ company and they enjoyed the work. The landowner was pleased with their hard work and rewarded them by sharing produce from the land. Before long they invited more friends to volunteer with them, and more landowners invited them on to their land. And so there was more land to work on, more volunteers working, and more produce to share.
The 2 friends invited disadvantaged local people to join them and volunteer on the local farms and businesses. They helped these people to regain confidence and self esteem, they helped them to improve their health and well being, they even helped some to find employment. They contacted the Prime Minister, David Cameron, about the work they were doing. The Prime Minister was keen to meet them and help them, and he arranged a meeting between the 2 friends and The Oxfordshire NHS. The NHS wanted a partnership with B’lkaar Singh and Raul Ospina. The L.O.V.E. Project Ltd was then registered as a social enterprise. The 2 friends promised each other that whatever happened, they would never compromise their belief in the ‘power of love’.
The L.O.V.E. Project uses 6 diverse outdoor sites in Oxfordshire, including vegetable gardens, pastureland, paddocks, a riverside meadow, orchards, and woodland. The Project is also in partnership with several local businesses and organisations, meaning there is opportunity to find full time work for certain volunteers. There is an emphasis on healthy living, community solidarity, environmental harmony, and alternative education. Voluntary work is varied and diverse and can include helping someone to move house, gardening, collecting firewood, recycling wooden pallets, lambing, haymaking, horticulture, livestock management, wild food foraging, bread and cake making, Other activities include outdoor meditation, yoga, learning languages and motorbike rides.