Members of the Garden Centre Association have raised more than £44,000 for three different charities at the organisation’s annual conference this year.
Delegates attending the event in the Cotswolds took part in a GCA Charity Day on the Sunday (January 28) as well as a fundraising raffle, draw and auction during the week.
GCA CEO Peter Burks explains: “We renamed our Sunday event as the ‘GCA Charity Day’ this year. During the day and, across the whole conference, we raised money for three worthy charities that work in our sector – Greenfingers, Perennial and The Colegrave Seabrook Foundation.
“In addition to the Sunday event, we ran a mega raffle. During the conference, there were envelopes placed at every seat and table. Everyone had the opportunity to buy a ticket for the value that they felt most comfortable with.
“We had activities on the Sunday and the day included a visit to Associate Member Melcourt Industries’ growing media facilities followed by a tour of the Ramsbury Brewery and Distillery.
“We had a fundraising quiz hosted by Guy Topping at Ramsbury on Sunday night and more than 60 people attended. The Cabbages, a team made up of members from suppliers, won the quiz beating the Pansies, the garden centres’ team. Proceeds from the money collected on the day went to the charities.
“We then raised £40,000 from our Tuesday night Gala Dinner draw, which included Evergreen Garden Care auctioning off its last peat-based Miracle-Gro compost bag – a piece of history. It went to Terry Head of Stewarts Garden Centres. Evergreen also donated 12 pallets of peat free compost to the winner and 24 pallets of Miracle-Gro for our grand draw.
“Ian Flounders from Woodlodge had his beard shaved off for charity too. We had a great conference and a fabulous Gala Dinner Tuesday evening, and lots of money was raised for our three chosen charities. Thank you to everyone who participated and donated so generously.”