Another record-breaking year for gardener Geoff

Besi Besemar August 23, 2019

Twelve months ago, when Geoff Stonebank’s 92-year old Mum fell ill and had to move in with him and his partner permanently, he decided to reduce his garden openings in 2019 to allow them more time to care for her.

Geoff Stonebanks and Megan Gower, Area Fundraising Manager for Macmillan
Geoff Stonebanks and Megan Gower, Area Fundraising Manager for Macmillan

OPENINGS reduced from fourteen public days in 2018, including the Artwave Festival, down to just five public days this season.

Coupled with this he anticipated a significant reduction in his charity fundraising totals too. Little did he realise how wrong he would be!

The grand total of monies raised through Geoff’s various activities for 2018 were £19,444 and this season, an amazing £18210.

Geoff said: “The main reason for this was the vastly increased number of visitors who came to view Driftwood by arrangement, generating almost £4,000 for Macmillan along with the best ever result for the Macmillan Coastal Garden Trail back in July, which raised £9,163 for the charity.”

This has meant the combined charity fundraising for Macmillan in 2019, including a grand raffle of artist donated prizes, is the most ever at £13,708.

Geoff organised a presentation to Megan Gower, Area Fundraising Manager for Macmillan in his garden on August 22, along with some of the volunteers and garden owners who helped raise the money. This achievement has meant the grand total Geoff’s Driftwood Fundraising Group has handed over to Macmillan since 2012 is a staggering £80,193, all of which has gone towards the build and upkeep of the Macmillan Horizon Centre in Brighton.

Geoff confirmed that his garden’s amazing feedback on the renowned travel web site, Trip Advisor, had led to the significant increase in private visitor numbers. Holidaymakers in Sussex look for things to do and Driftwood is usually at the top of the heap, with over 100 – five-star reviews.

Geoff continued: “Through the continued generosity of garden visitors, trail garden owners, artists donating their work to raffle, plus the many volunteers and amazing sponsors of the 2 trails, Pomegranate in Seaford and Richard Jackson’s Garden we have raised a staggering £132,789 for various charities in recent years! My sincere thanks to all!”

The grand raffle of the £900 worth of prizes was drawn on the 22nd too, by Megan, and all prize winners have been notified and are arranging collection of their prizes!

The garden is now closed until next year but all Driftwood’s 2020 open dates and the date of the Macmillan Garden Trail are already on the Driftwood web site.