Garden Re-Leaf Day on Friday 13th March may have fallen in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, but that didn’t dampen the FUNdraising spirits of Greenfingers supporters across the country. The official ‘start to the season’ saw businesses and individuals come together to undertake a wide range of activities to help raise much needed funds for the children’s hospice charity. Whilst the final total is yet to be announced, it has been confirmed that over £20,000 has already been pledged.
The Garden Re-Leaf Sponsored Walk
Current total pledged: £15,000
One of the biggest events in the Garden Re-Leaf calendar is the annual Sponsored Walk and Cycle Challenge. This year over 100 people from garden retailers, suppliers and manufacturers along with teams from outside the garden industry walked a sponsored 10 or 20-mile circuit through the stunning Chiltern hills. Starting and ending at Chilton Garden Centre in Oxfordshire the participants were treated to stunning views along the way and a delicious barbecue upon their return thanks to headline sponsors, British Garden Centres, and the wonderful team at Outback. Refreshments along the way were kindly sponsored by Hozelock. Drinks on the finish line were kindly sponsored by LOFA.
Teams from Glee, Evergreen Garden Care, Kelkay, Apta, Mr Fothergills Seeds, Hornby Whitefoot PR, DAC Limited, Vitax, Farplants, Abacus Cards, Westland, Taylors Bulbs and Vitax along with Millbrook Garden Centre, St Peters Garden Centre, Poplars Garden Centre and Kew Green Hotels were amongst those that donned their walking boots for the scenic route, taking in some stunning sights along the way. The first industry ’10-milers’ crossing the finish line were GTN’s Trevor Pfeiffer, his wife Karen and their two dogs, whilst Mr Fothergill’s Ian Cross was in the first 20-mile group to complete the course
Glee’s Matthew Mein, and Hornby Whitefoot PR’s Kimberley Hornby, both also completed their 120th mile for Greenfingers having taken part in every Garden Re-Leaf Walk. The competition for who takes the crown for ‘most miles walked’ continues in 2021!
The Garden Re-Leaf Cycle Challenge
This year saw intrepid cyclists take on the Garden Re-Leaf Cycle Challenge. Each entrant had a 25km route to complete and were able to go round as many times as time/their legs allowed. Seemingly we have some very fit (and competitive!) cyclists with many entrants completing 100kms, with Westland’s James Somerscales going the extra mile by completing an incredible 200km.
Across the country, garden centres, suppliers and friends of Greenfingers came together to create a vibrant day of FUNdraising. Here’s just a few of the activities that took place…
As well as playing an integral part in the 2020 Garden Re-Leaf Day Sponsored Walk and Cycle Challenge, British Garden Centres also held Garden Re-Leaf Day raffles in almost all of its 57 stores. The Wolsley Bridge store also held a cake sale, which together with the raffle raised over £600, whilst the Brigg store in Lincolnshire has confirmed that on the day, they raised an incredible £1,000.
Another garden centre chain who got well and truly into the Garden Re-Leaf spirit was Klondyke and Strikes who held events across its 22 strong store network. On the day, each cuppa purchased saw a 50p donation head Greenfingers’ way, whilst every planter sold raised an extra £1.
Over at Perrywood in Sudbury the team went #greenforgreenfinger with green clothing and even some staff dressing as giant cacti and Venus Flytraps! At Perrywood’s Tiptree site, a special Garden Re-Leaf Quiz was held, which raised an incredible £1,690 in ticket and raffle sales, whilst the café also raised money with the sale of special Garden Re-Leaf cupcakes.
At Alton Garden Centres, students from the local primary school helped plant up a beautiful display of pots and planters with proceeds from the sale of each being given to Greenfingers.
Hitchin Garden Centre held a special raffle, which gave the lucky winner a stunning orchid and everything needed to help it thrive. Longacres Bybrook Barn were another centre which held a special garden Re-Leaf raffle which featured a range of fantastic prizes including Easter chocolate, floral bouquets and other delicious treats.
At Darlac Tools cleanliness was the order of the day as the team opened a car wash for the day.
The Garden Design Company joined forces with Rowan Garden Centre to complete a sponsored dog walk, whilst Tarporley Garden Centre held a special raffle which features a treasure trove of goodies for all the family.
The Mr Fothergill’s FUNdraising also stretched beyond just the Garden Re-Leaf event in 2020. Since 2017 the team has been undertaking a wide range of fundraising activities from triathlons, ‘Beat the Walkers’ challenge, and cake sales, raising in excess of £13,500. A phenomenal effort from Team lightening Seeds!
The QVC family will be continuing its Garden Re-Leaf Day support with two special shows on 28th and 29th March.
Director of Fundraising and Communications Linda Petrons said: “I cannot thank people enough for their ongoing support and dedication to making Garden Re-Leaf Day such a continued success. Early indications show that we are on track to raise a really great sum again – a truly incredible achievement, particularly at what is a difficult time for many. I am endlessly touched by the generosity, creativity and selflessness that so many demonstrate, both on Garden Re-Leaf Day, and throughout the year. Every penny raised makes a huge difference to those that spend time in Greenfingers funded-gardens, so on behalf of them, and my team, the biggest possible thank you.”
Garden Re-Leaf Day 2021
Mark your diaries now – Garden Re-Leaf Day 2021 will take place on Friday 19th March!
Word count: 931
For more information, interviews or images from Garden Re-Leaf Day please contact:
Linda Petrons by email email@example.com or call 01494 674749/07908 221240.
Kimberley Hornby by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07851 610573.