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Chitterne's grand plant sale

by Michael Ford last modified 22 May, 2020 10:36 PM

A village plant sale in Wiltshire has raised an impressive £1,000 for coronavirus relief.

Organiser Emma Walters takes up the story:

"Like many villages up and down the country, Chitterne had to give some thought on how to handle its annual plant sale this May. After a few enquiries it was clear that people still very much wanted the opportunity to buy for their gardens, so lists of available plants and flowers were put together and buying and selling was promoted through the village e-bulletin.

"Contact was direct from seller and buyer. A JustGiving page replaced cash. For the last Saturday morning, the remaining unsold plants and flowers were assembled outside a village house, people formed an orderly socially distanced queue, and everything was sold - from tomatoes, courgettes and celeriac to cosmos, astrantias and hellebores.

"This year, the whole event lasted 2 weeks rather than the usual morning, and proved very successful indeed, raising just over £1,000. A record for the annual event even though there were no cakes, jams or the usual raffle.

"This year the money, which is normally divided between our local church and a chosen local charity, will all go to the Wiltshire Community Foundation Coronavirus Response Fund providing emergency help for voluntary groups across the county, supporting those most affected by the pandemic.

"Everyone has been so supportive as we experimented with a different approach to handling the sale. Hopefully next year we will return to Pitts House for a happy time on a Saturday morning - after all we need the cakes and jams! - but we may also incorporate some of the things we have trialled this year."

The High Sheriff of Wiltshire & Chair of Wiltshire Community Foundation, Ashley Truluck said:

"Can you please pass on my personal thanks; that of The Wiltshire Community Foundation; and also the people of Wiltshire for this amazing effort by the people of Chitterne.

"I am sure the abnormally large sum raised this year was driven in large part by villagers’ concern for those locked down in city-centre accommodation in Swindon and the county’s larger towns, and for the many small community groups and local charities struggling to support their the elderly, disadvantaged or lonely neighbours. Your money will help these groups provide immediate assistance and these local charities to remain solvent so that they can play their role again when we come out of lockdown."

The final total of donations was £1,069.

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