Garden centres across the UK are being encouraged to take part in Garden Re-Leaf Day on Friday 22nd March and raise vital funds for the Greenfingers Charity, the national charity that creates magical gardens for children’s hospices.

Last year’s event – the gardening industry’s equivalent of Comic Relief day – broke records, raising over £70,000. Since its inception in 2012, Garden Re-Leaf has raised £600,000 for the creation of gardens designed to enhance the lives of children with life-limiting conditions.

Now, retail managers are being urged to get garden centres involved in FUNdraising activities for this year’s Garden Re-Leaf day. Charity events on the day and over the weekend can raise footfall at garden centres while generating funds to enhance the lives of terminally ill children.

Greenfingers’ Director of Fundraising & Communications, Linda Petrons said: “We’re issuing a rallying call to every garden centre in the UK to participate in Garden Re-Leaf Day 2019. As a result of previous years’ events, life-limited children and their families have been able to share precious time together in Greenfingers gardens at hospices. It’s easy to sign up and take part in organised activities and we urge the industry to come together and support our mission to design and build beautiful gardens for play, therapy and relaxation.”

For an adrenaline-filled challenge, retailers can hold a Great Garden Re-Leaf 12-hour Plantathon.Garden centres can invite customers and staff to take turns and continuously plant for 12 hours – or nominate one brave person to plant for the duration! It’s a great way of team-building, and plants potted for the Plantathon can be sold, with a percentage of each sale going to the Greenfingers Charity. Gardening workshops can run alongside plantathons, with retailers encouraging customers to buy tickets and brush-up on their gardening know-how.

There are a host of FUNdraising activities that can take place at garden centres on Garden Re-Leaf Day. Retailers can hold a raffle, cake or book sale, or host a car wash in garden centre car parks and donate the proceeds. Managers are being encouraged to invite customers to enjoy afternoon tea in garden centre cafes and make a donation from every cup of tea and slice of cake sold.
Carrier bag tax could be donated to the Greenfingers Charity in March, and for retailers who have in-store activity areas such as soft play or crazy golf, 50 pence could be donated from the cost of every child who visits on Garden Re-Leaf Day. And why not get colleagues into Garden Re-Leaf Day spirits by encouraging staff to wear their best (or worst!) green or floral outfits to work, and asking everyone taking part to make a donation?

An ever-popular fundraising event is the Garden Re-Leaf Day Walk, which gets underway from Wyevale’s World’s End Garden Centre in Buckinghamshire. Garden centre staff of all ages are invited to take part, with the option of a 10-mile walk or, for eager hikers, a more challenging 20-mile route through the Chilterns.

2019 will be the fifth annual Garden Re-Leaf Walk, and those that have taken part in the full 20-mile walk since the outset will mark having completed their 100th mile in aid of Greenfingers as they cross the finishing line.

For those who prefer pedal power to donning a pair of walking boots, the Garden Re-Leaf Day Cycle Challenge is an excellent way to burn off any lingering excesses from the festive season and raise cash for a great cause in the process. The cycle ride also starts and finishes at Wyevale’s World’s End Garden Centre in Buckinghamshire.

The Greenfingers Charity has ambitious plans to raise more than £500,000 this year and hopes that Garden Re-Leaf day will smash the £70,000 record it hit in 2017. The charity has already created 55 gardens at children’s hospices across the UK and plans to build four more in 2019 – at Claire House Children’s Hospice in Wirral, Richard House Children’s Hospice in London, Little Harbour Children’s Hospice in Cornwall and Grace House Hospice in Sunderland.

Last year’s event saw firms including Vitax, Johnsons Lawn Seed, Woodlodge, Elho, Hozelock, Briers, Taylor’s Bulbs, Mr Fothergill’s, Glee, Hornby Whitefoot PR, GIMA, HTA, QVC, Cadix and Kew Green Hotels all take part in Garden Re-Leaf Day.Garden centres urged to sign-up and support Garden Re-Leaf day on Friday 22nd March

Poplars Garden Centre, Hillview Stores, Perrywood Garden Centre, Alton Garden Centre, Old Railway Line Garden Centre, Downtown Garden Centre, Whitehall Garden Centre, Haskins Garden Centres and Aylett Nurseries were among many retailers to get involved with fundraising activities.

For more information about Garden Re-Leaf Day 2019, and for details of how to take part, visit https://www.greenfingerscharity.org.uk/gardenreleaf.

It’s easy for garden centres to register a 2019 Garden Re-Leaf Day event. Visit https://www.greenfingerscharity.org.uk/gardenreleaf/register-a-2019-event to fill in a short online form.

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