Gardens fundraiser nets almost £60K

Visitors at Strawberry Cottage in Old Town
Visitors at Strawberry Cottage in Old Town

A CHARITY’S annual fundraiser has helped raise almost £60,000 in total for its coffers.

St Michael’s Hospice, based in Upper Maze Hill, St Leonards, ran its Open Gardens event throughout May, June and July across 1066 Country.

Almost 30 gardens were opened up for the public across Hastings and elsewhere so they could visit and admire the flora.

The annual event culminated at Bardown Oast Farm and Orchard Cottage in Stonegate where almost £5,900 alone was raised for the hard-up hospice, which looks after terminally-ill patients.

Money was collected through holding raffles, live music, tombolas and stalls.

Afternoon tea was served with sparkling wine to toast the success of this year’s Open Gardens event.

Last month charitable Old Town residents opened their gardens to the public as part of the fundraiser and generous visitors and townsfolk helped raise almost £5,900 for the hospice.

Sally Beresford, the hospice’s Open Gardens co-ordinator, said: “The 2011 season has been great for us.

“We kicked off to a fantastic start and that support has continued through to the end.

“Those that have been kind enough to offer their gardens for public viewing have been so generous and accommodating, the hospice is truly grateful to them.

“Each person who visits, donates, volunteers or exhibits plays such an important role in raising funds for the hospice and I’d like to thank Merriments Gardens and many other local businesses for their continued support throughout the season.

“I’m now looking forward discovering some more hidden treasures of Rother to add to the 2012 season.

“This season saw 27 gardens opened for public viewing, with 5,000 people attending, between May and July.”

If anyone would like to discuss the possibility of hosting or volunteering at an Open Gardens event next year, call Sally on 01424 456369.