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Virtual garden tours prove huge success for Haddenham

They have managed to triple what they usually raise for Florence Nightingale Hospice.

Published by Dan Gooding at 2:00pm 7th June 2020. 3-minute read.

Virtual garden tours prove huge success for Haddenham

Virtual garden tours in Haddenham have helped to nearly triple funds normally raised by villagers.

The traditional English Village Fete is going to be just another casualty of the coronavirus crisis as fetes are cancelled all over the country.

Haddenham Village Fete is one of the biggest in Buckinghamshire and offers organisations and charities an opportunity to raise money and promote their wares.

For Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity, this year's cancellation means the loss of a donation in return for the work of the Haddenham Community Support Group in the tea tent, and also the money raised from the Haddenham Open Gardens event which runs alongside the Fete.

Showing great resilience and initiative however, the Haddenham Village Society has taken the Open Gardens online with beautifully filmed virtual tours of eleven gardens in the village.

Haddenham garden tours - Janet Robinson

The unforeseen benefit of this is that it makes these gardens available to a much wider audience, with viewers from overseas now being able to enjoy the beauty of a typical English country garden from the comfort of their own sofa.

Kirsty Shanahan from Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity said:

"Many of the people who are shielding are also the people who love to get out and see public gardens.

"That's one of the brilliant things about the Haddenham Village Society's idea. They have raised so much more than they usually do because this makes these beautiful gardens open to so many more people, at a time when they are really desperate to see more than their own back garden because of the lockdown."

Keith Milmer has led the project for the Haddenham Village Society, and says:

"We've been surprised at the popularity of the videos, and it's really been worth the work it took to put the virtual tours together because we've been able to find another way to hold this successful fundraising event for the Hospice in spite of the lockdown."

Viewers of the Virtual Open Garden Tours are asked to make an optional donation to the Hospice via justgiving.com and so far they have donated just over £1,300, smashing the fundraising target usually achieved by this event.

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