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Gardening for Gaga

Hulme Community Garden Centre gets a makeover in return for a Lady Gaga gig

Published on May 28th 2009.

Gardening for Gaga

Young people have been digging for gig tickets at Hulme Community Garden Centre at the launch of volunteering scheme Orange RockCorps in Manchester this week. However, the tickets weren't actually buried in the soil. It's part of the 'give and get given' idea which is giving communities in Manchester the chance to earn a money-can’t-buy ticket to an all-star gig in their home city in return for four hours hard graft at community-based charity projects.

The first batch of volunteers gathered at Hulme Community Garden Centre for their four hours solid graft. Project manager for the centre, Jamie Dickinson, said: “This is the first time we've worked with RockCorps and I was really worried because there are 40 people to manage but it's been great. The idea is that they get a group of people to swarm like locust to get lots done in a small amount of time. Our regular volunteers at the centre work wholesomely and gradually but this project is to blitz an area fast.”

The Hulme Community Garden Centre was chosen by the Orange RockCorps team because it met all the criteria of the project and as a centre driven by the people, it was the perfect place to get youngsters to lend a hand.

RockCorps co-founder, Grady Lee, said: “We'll probably end up doing 40 to 50 volunteer events throughout Manchester with 30 charity partners scattered around. It's usually people who don't normally get the chance to go to gigs that take part.”

The reward to the volunteers who sweated it out for their local area is a ticket to an exclusive gig at the Manchester Apollo on 13 July. Lady Gaga and N-Dubz will be headlining the gig.

Gray said: “The artists get really excited about it. They come out to projects, they do the press, they talk to people about it and sign things for volunteers. It gets them out in front of their fans in a new way.”

Last year, 5,000 young people in the UK took part in Orange RockCorps, earning tickets to see a line up which included Busta Rhymes, Ludacris, The Automatic, John Legend, Feeder, Lethal Bizzle and Guillemots perform at the Royal Albert Hall. Collectively, volunteers worked 20,000 hours at 55 projects, helping 41 charity partners. Orange RockCorps are now hoping to see similar success in Manchester. For more information on Orange RockCorps please visit www.orange-rockcorps.co.uk

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