Thetford Open Gardens targets £10,000 on tenth birthday

Rachel Woods opens up her garden in Thetford again to raise money from visitors for St Nicholas Hosp

Rachel Woods opens up her garden in Thetford again to raise money from visitors for St Nicholas Hospice Care. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

It is an event which has combined a celebration of Thetford's hidden gardens and support for a hospice that has helped countless families in tough times.

Ten years on, Thetford Open Gardens has raised thousands of pounds for St Nicholas Hospice Care, in Bury St Edmunds.

This year, it is celebrating a decade of fundraising by setting itself a target of raising £10,000.

And with 38 gardens taking part on June 26, organisers hope visitors will dig a little deeper to help.

Rachel Woods, organiser, said the gardens on offer featured some regulars, and a few new additions.

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'We have got a really nice group of gardens this year, including a sprinkling of new ones.

'There's a garden on Old Market Street with a view of Castle Hill and one near the old gasworks in Bury Road which is on Saxon burial ground which are really lovely.

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'The regulars are always doing new things as well, and they love to keep the visitors happy. People look forward to coming back and seeing what has changed year on year,' she said.

Mrs Woods said support for the event was not hard to come by.

'You don't have to scratch the surface very far to find a lot of people are willing to help.

'For example, this year we had someone get in touch after the list of gardens was drawn up and we weren't sure if we could include him.

'But when we heard that his wife had recently died and been helped by the hospice, we of course had to include his garden,' she said.

Fundraising got underway at a pop-up open garden event at __The Paddocks in Ford Street last Wednesday, with £100 raised.

The event's efforts will be helped by a plant sale on May 7 outside St Cuthbert's Church.

Raffle tickets will also be sold, with a host of prizes having been donated by local businesses.

Programmes for the Open Gardens will go on sale mid-May at £5.

A free concert will also be held by the group at Lake House, Castle Lane, on June 25, featuring Thetford Voices, Thetford Singers, musicians from Thetford Academy and the Military Wives Choir.

To donate to St Nicholas Hospice Care, click here and enter 'Thetford Open Gardens 2016' as your reason for donation.

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