We simply could not believe the support we have had from people and local firms wanting to help; from car park management, to professional art curators running the art and craft exhibitions, catering, meeting and greeting visitors, lending chairs and tables for the teas, donating mountains of cake and even supplying an installing temporary fencing around the site. A big thank you to all of them and all the other countless supporters. The day itself went better than our wildest imagination...we thought we might possibly get 400-500 people but instead, around 1,500 came - there were about 350 cars in the car park at lunchtime(!) So far, we have raised around £4,000 including the Just Giving donations! So a huge thank you to everyone and it's not too late to make a donation if you have not already done so but would like to. On average, the air ambulance costs about £3,500 per sortie, so you have all made the difference between life and death for at least one person needing emergency help.
Rather than charging an entrance and/or car parking fee, we simply invited visitors to make a donation on arrival and/or during their visit and we were staggered at their generosity.
About 15 years ago, we opened up our garden as part of the National Garden Scheme and rather than just another Open Garden Day, we thought we should do something completely different by having an Open Willow Day instead! We are one of the largest commercial growers of basket making willow outside of Somerset and very few people know what a willow bed looks like. We have several varieties of willow and they are all different and they can grow anything from 8' to 12' in one year! Visitors were be able to wander along the grassy rides through the willow beds and look in awe at the growth. They were also able to look at a selection of large one-off 3D willow creations dotted around the garden.
Rather than raising money for various different charities, we wanted to use this Open Day to raise money exclusively for the East Anglian Air Ambulance as it's a cause which is close to most people's hearts - you never know you might need it one day for a close friend or a member of your own family!
To maximise the appeal of the Event, various established local artists and craft practitioners had an exhibition of their work here as well. Teas and light refreshments were available along with live music throughout the day. With the numbers of people here, there was inevitably a large queue for tea and cake but no one seemed to mind. All we saw all day were happy faces - everyone was smiling...all the time and obviously enjoying the day out.
Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.
Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving - they'll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they'll send your money directly to the charity. So it's the most efficient way to donate - saving time and cutting costs for the charity.