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Surrey Open Gardens are a blooming success!

Garden gates across Surrey have been swinging open this summer to welcome the local community into exclusive, private gardens as part of St Catherine’s Hospice Open Gardens.

Between April and the end of August, 44 gardens across Surrey and Sussex opened to support their local hospice. Thanks to their collective generosity, donations blossomed to more than £28,000 – the most money ever raised from an Open Garden season.

As part of the Surrey openings, residents explored almost two acres of cottage gardens at Tollsworth Manor in Chaldon, Caterham, owned by Gordon and Carol Gillett. As well as the garden, visitors enjoyed refreshments served by St Catherine’s voluntary fundraising group, Tandridge Friends.

Gordon said: “It was great fun opening our garden, meeting over 360 lovely people and raising more than £3,000 in just five hours. Open Gardens was a lot of work but the help given and the lovely community spirit made taking part a real pleasure.”

Well-known Caterham resident and St Catherine’s supporter, David Gold also opened his garden at The Chalet, Caterham. His two openings were a big success, raising more than £4,000 for his local hospice.

Other Surrey gardens included Southlands Lodge in Oxted, who opened for the first time, and five cottages and barns in Newdigate Village. Leigh Village in the Mole Valley District also held its annual charity plant sale in aid of the hospice.

St Catherine’s provides expert care to local people living with a terminal illness across East Surrey. By allowing the public a unique insight into their private space, Open Garden hosts are helping ensure St Catherine’s can continue to provide their local community with this expert care.

To find out more about opening your garden for St Catherine’s next spring and summer, please call Keely Bicknell in St Catherine’s community fundraising team on: 01293 447376 or email: comfun@stch.org.uk

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