Local gardener raises over £9,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support

The Macmillan Coastal Garden Trail, took place over the weekend of July 27-28.

TWENTY one gardens across the city opened to the public over last weekend (July 27-28), with eleven brand-new to this year’s trail. Organiser Geoff Stonebanks says on several levels it was the best ever trail he has produced over the last eight years for MacMillan Cancer Support.

Two of the favourite gardens based on feedback to Geoff were the walled garden in Bishopstone and a new garden in Wivelsfield Road, Saltdean.

Geoff said: “Despite the poor weather on the Saturday, which saw TV gardener, Christine Walkden and Macmillan’s Head of Volunteer Development, Ruth Leonard deliver their speeches in the rain, while the assembled forty present stood in my garage, we raised well over £9000 for the charity.”

Ruth added: “Every day, twenty eight people in Sussex hear the devastating news that they have cancer, with more than 10,000 people diagnosed every year it is expected that the amount of people living with and beyond cancer in Sussex will be 95,000 by 2030.  

“Fundraised income makes up 98% of Macmillan’s income – which means the dedication and generosity of our supporters like Geoff is absolutely essential to changing the lives of people living with cancer.  Geoff has singlehandedly raised nearly £80,000 for the Horizon Centre through his Driftwood Fundraising Group Committee; including £54,000 from this amazing Macmillan Coastal Garden trail alone.  

“We hope to continue to inspire people like Geoff and others to donate, volunteer and campaign so we can be right there for years to come.”

Christine Walkden loved the day and spent seven hours with Geoff at Driftwood before visiting three of the other gardens too.

She said: “What is really obvious from all the gardens that opened is the very hard work and effort that everyone puts in to make the day a success. It’s not just this effort but the emotional journey that takes place for everyone involved. From despair to success when a visitor turns up. The gardens, all in their own way were special and really worth seeing. What an amazing effort from all involved. I admire the determination, flair and love that is shown in each garden.”

Geoff has already had three more brand-new gardens put their names forward for the 2020 event, which will be held on the weekend of July 25-26.

To read more details about the 2019 event, click here:

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