Haddenham Village Fȇte and hospice donations are saved by online open gardens experiment

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

Thursday, 4th June 2020, 11:18 am
One of the beautiful gardens that features in the Haddenham event

Haddenham Village Fȇte 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 Fȇte which should have taken place on 13th June.

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.

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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.

“Many of the people who are shielding are also the people who love to get out and see public gardens,” says Kirsty Shanahan from Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity.

“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.

If you would like to take a virtual tour of the Haddenham Open Gardens, go to https://www.haddenham.net/newsroom/virtual-open-garden-tours.html