St Clare’s Hospice’s Virtual Open Gardens set to launch with over 20 video tours

Hospice’s Virtual Open Gardens set to launch with over 20 video tours

OVER 20 local hidden green-spaces will be on show to raise vital funds for St Clare Hospice as part of their Virtual Open Gardens event which starts on Saturday 11th July 2020 and runs until the end of August.

The Hastingwood-based hospice charity has hosted the Open Gardens event for 26 years, but the coronavirus outbreak has forced the horticultural festival to go ‘virtual’ for the first time ever – with supporters enjoying video tours of local gardens from the comfort of their own homes.

Virtual Open Gardens event organiser, Dan Bailey, said: “We are thrilled to say that we have more than 20 gardens available to enjoy virtually – bringing the beauty of local gardens into the homes of our supporters. Our Open Garden participants, some of whom have been opening their gardens for us every summer for many years, were eager to embrace technology this year to make sure the event can still go ahead.

“A dedicated webpage has been created to host the walk-through garden tours, and it really does offer a captivating experience for lovers of all things fauna and flora to enjoy. The webpage will be available from Saturday 11th July until the end of August. We ask that participants make a donation to the Hospice in return for their virtual experience, helping to raise vital funds to ensure our services for people with life-limiting illnesses can continue.”

One of the gardens which has opened virtually is that of Terry Mackay, a supporter of St Clare Hospice. His son, Dan Mackay, photographed the family garden and said: “Ordinarily Open Gardens isn’t something that we would get involved in this much, but due to the innovative thinking of the fundraising team and the virtual nature of this year’s event, it has made it much easier to participate and help out with fundraising in a new way for St Clare.”

Dan Mackay continued: “Our garden also has a strong link to the Hospice. My mum, Barbara, was a patient at St Clare in December 2016 and after she passed away Dad decided that he would like to plant a memorial garden at home so that we would always have her close. We have a bronze leaf with mum’s name on it, which once hung on St Clare’s Memory Tree, but has now been fixed to the cherry tree which was planted in 1977, the year my parents were married, and still has pride of place in the middle of the garden.”

The Virtual Open Gardens experience will be available from Saturday 11th July until the end of August and can be viewed on the St Clare Hospice website at: stclarehospice.org.uk/event/virtual-open-gardens-2020

For more information email Community Fundraiser, Dan Bailey, on [email protected]

This year’s event is generously sponsored by local logistics firm, Jonen Shipping, and Bishop’s Stortford-based lawnmower manufacturer, Hayter Limited.

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