1 September 2015
Christine Walkden launches the trail with organiser Geoff Stonebanks
Macmillan supporter and Multi award winning gardener, Geoff Stonebanks’s 4th annual Coastal Garden Trail raises £6,300 in one day supported by Christine Walkden.
Geoff has been raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support for several years now, through the open garden events in his own garden, Driftwood in Seaford, recently featured In the Sunday Telegraph. To date he has raised over £30,000 for the charity and a further £30,000 for other charities.
He launched the Macmillan Coastal Garden Trail back in 2012 with a handful of gardens he persuaded to open. Geoff has now singlehandedly managed and developed the trail to an annual event, taking in up to private 30 gardens each year between Brighton and Eastbourne along the South Coast. All this has been done to raise funds for the new Macmillan Horizon Centre in Brighton, now due to open in 2016.
Geoff recruits the gardens, risk assesses them, designs and arranges printing of flyers and 12 page brochure and maintains it’s web site. Two years ago he persuaded Christine Walkden to be the patron, something she readily took on board saying 'Opening gardens and sharing them with others is a great treat for all. It generates a sense of community, camaraderie and interest in the beauty that gardeners create. I am thrilled to be patron of this event.'
The 2015 event was so successful and Christine took time out of her very busy schedule to be in Geoff’s garden and open the trail on the 25 July. The two day event was marred by atrocious weather on the Sunday but raised over £6,000 on the Saturday. Geoff said 'I have been overwhelmed by the support from Christine and all the garden owners this year it is such a shame the weather was against us otherwise we could have raised over £10,000.'
Tom Carter, Sussex Area Fundraising Manager said 'All at Macmillan are extremely grateful. Despite the inclement conditions you will all have raised vital funds and awareness of our work locally, and helped ensure we are one step closer to ensuring no one in Sussex faces cancer alone.'
If you want to open your garden between Brighton, Hove and Eastbourne in 2016 contact Geoff at firstname.lastname@example.org and see all the news about the 2015 trail at www.macmillangardentrail.co.uk