When Sharon Valler from Bournemouth set up a ‘give and take’ stall during the first Covid lockdown in order to raise funds for staff at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital she had no idea it would be so hugely successful.
Sharon, who runs a local company called Home and Garden Medic, decided to put her knowledge and love for gardening to use and so sold the excess plants from her own garden outside her house.
She said: “Initially I thought I would raise £50 to support staff at the hospital during the pandemic. However, after running my stall for a few weeks and advertising it on Facebook, things really snowballed and people started donating their own plants for sale. With everyone in lockdown and confined to their homes, people wanted to make their own garden look special and this was when sales really took off. We went on to raise an amazing £4,000 in 2020.
“Since starting we have grown quite a local following and have had support from a number of local companies and the local community. People are so generous knowing that all the money is going towards supporting staff in the NHS. Often people pay £20 for a pot of plants knowing that they would normally only be worth £5 or people just stop their cars outside and put money in the collection pot knowing it’s for the NHS. To me this all shows the true value people put on the NHS and its staff.”
David James, individual giving fundraiser for University Hospitals Dorset NHS Charity, said: “We have been blown away by the amount of money that Sharon has raised from her give and take stall. Every week we see more money coming in and we are very grateful for her continued commitment and support.
“All the money raised has gone into the charity’s staff health and wellbeing fund which continues to support our amazing NHS staff throughout the pandemic.”
If you would like to help Sharon reach her £10,000 target you can find more information about her plant sales stall on her Facebook page – facebook.com/groups/bournemouthgiveandtake
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