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Cathedral garden weekend raises thousands for charity

Cathedral garden weekend raises thousands for charity
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Cheques, each for £3,630,48 were presented to two charities at Canterbury Cathedral on the 24 July 2013; and a further cheque for an identical amount has been sent to support gardening and nursing charities via the National Gardens Scheme (NGS).

The two charities that received the cheques were The Secret Jungle-The Children’s Society in Margate; and Seeds for Africa, which is based at the University of Kent. The Secret Jungle offers an outdoor play space designed around the needs and wishes of disabled children, where children and their families can feel relaxed and safe in an environment which is stimulating, while Seeds for Africa is currently involved with long term development projects in Kenya, Sierra Leone, and Uganda.

The money was raised through admission, plant and refreshment sales at the Cathedral’s annual Open Gardens weekend. Held on the 25 and 26 May, over 1,500 people attended the two day event.

The weekend was bathed in warm weather, and as the gates to all five beautiful historic Canonical gardens were open, visitors had the opportunity to explore and discover the secret areas of the World Heritage Site. In addition to the gardens and green spaces, visitors had the rare opportunity to visit the Bastion Chapel. A fine collection of classic cars were on display on the Green Court and a refreshments’ tent provided a mouth-watering variety of homemade cakes and tea. A birds of prey display set up camp near the Corona as did the ever popular bee keepers.

We are very pleased to have been one of the Charities chosen this year. The work of the Secret Jungle is very important to the families and groups that use our inclusive play area. The money raised will allow us to provide additional play sessions for disabled children, young people and their families. This will include providing fun activities as well as buying some additional specialist play equipment. From one garden to another we would like to thank you on behalf of all our Jungle friends and The Children’s Society.

The Children’s Society, Senior project worker Joanna Stirland.

Joanna Stirland( The Secret Jungle part of the Children’s Society) and Jocelyn Prebble (Canterbury Cathedral)
Joanna Stirland( The Secret Jungle part of the Children’s Society) and Jocelyn Prebble (Canterbury Cathedral)

Thank you all at Canterbury Cathedral Open Gardens Event for your wonderful support for Seeds for Africa. We are absolutely delighted to be one of the nominated charities for 2013. Seeds for Africa is currently engaged in setting up Breakfast Clubs and Food Gardens for schools in Sierra Leone and Uganda. Initially, breakfast for the children is fully funded but this need decreases as the gardens produce their own sustainable produce. This incredibly generous gift will help to purchase the necessities that make projects such as these a success, helping to improve the children’s educational performance and well-being.

Seeds for Africa, Project Administrator, Louise Hickmott.

Louise Hickmott and Chris Bowman (Seeds for Africa) and Jocelyn Prebble (Canterbury Cathedral)
Louise Hickmott and Chris Bowman (Seeds for Africa) and Jocelyn Prebble (Canterbury Cathedral)

The total raised for all the charities from the weekend came to £10,891. We hope to repeat this success next year.

In Bloom

The City of Canterbury has been awarded a Silver Gilt award at the South & South East in Bloom Awards 2013. The judges made many positive comments about various gardens and green spaces within the City and we were thrilled to read the praise given to the Precincts, in particular the Deanery Garden and its high level of horticultural excellence.


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