On Sunday (18 June), Anne and Geoff Shaw, owners of Follers Manor in Alfriston, opened their spectacular garden and raised over £2,000 for Chestnut Tree, a local hospice that provides care for children with life-shortening illnesses across Sussex.
The event was well attended, with over 300 people visiting the award-winning garden, including popular children’s author, Jacqueline Wilson. Visitors were able to enjoy the beautiful garden, take in the breath-taking scenery, observe the wildlife or simply to find a shady spot to relax with a cup of tea and a home-made cake. “Everyone told us how much they enjoyed their time in the garden,” said Anne Shaw, one of the owners of Follers Manor. “The whole day had such a lovely, relaxed and friendly atmosphere, and we were obviously blessed with the weather.”
Anne and Geoff Shaw opened their garden in order to raise money for Chestnut Tree children’s hospice. The charity cares for 60 children with life-shortening conditions in East Sussex and their families, providing respite, emergency and end-of-life care at their purpose-built hospice near Arundel and in families’ own homes across the county.
Chestnut Tree receives less than 7% of it’s funding from central government and never charges families for their care, meaning it relies heavily on the generosity of the local community. “Events like the open garden at Follers Manor are vital to us” said Abi Harley, Community Fundraiser for Chestnut Tree. “The amount raised on Sunday is enough to pay for 20 hours of all our community services, allowing nurses and care workers to provide care to children and families in their own homes.
“We would like to say a huge thank you to Anne and Geoff for opening up their garden, to the volunteers who made the event a success and to everyone who came along and supported us on the day. Without you we really couldn’t continue to offer care to local children with life-shortening conditions and their families.”
The award-winning Follers Manor garden was designed by Ian Kitson and gives unspoilt views of its breath-taking surroundings. Most recently featured on Alan Titchmarsh’s ‘Britain’s Best Back Gardens,’ the garden has featured on several other programmes and won multiple awards for its stunning landscape within the South Downs National Park.