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GIMA director Vicky Nuttall

On Sunday June 2nd three brave souls from the UK garden retail sector will be taking to the skies to raise £15,000 for the Greenfingers Charity. Here we catch up with one of the ‘wing walkers’, GIMA Director, Vicky Nuttall, to find out more about her FUNdraising journey.

“I’ve recently celebrated a milestone birthday, so I felt it was time to get out of my comfort zone and challenge myself. The Greenfingers Wing Walk came along at the perfect moment, so I just knew I had to get involved! After all, what is more ‘out of your comfort zone’ than flying across the skies of Wiltshire whilst strapped to the top of an airplane?! Weirdly, I couldn’t jump out of a plane, but standing on one whilst it completes fly-bys, dives and banks feels so much more achievable! The landing is one area I’m trying hard not to think about, as is the acrobatic elements, so I’ll be working to focus on the whole experience rather than individual elements.

“Additionally, I am a proud ambassador for Greenfingers so have been looking for an opportunity to show my continued support of the charity. I’m also a proud Garden Re-Leaf Day Sponsored Walk 100 miler (it’s an exclusive club of three) and over the last five years have raised funds that way, but now just feels like the right time to do something different, and to really throw myself into an exciting challenge.

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Garden Re-Leaf Day – where does the money go? 

In July 2011, Hillview Garden Store CEO and industry stalwart, Boyd Douglas-Davies announced the inaugural Garden Re-Leaf Day at the Garden Retail Awards in London.  Now in its eighth year, Garden Re-Leaf Day is the biggest charity fundraiser in the garden industry’s calendar and has raised over £600,000, including over £70,000 in 2018 alone.

Positioned as the garden industry’s answer to Comic Relief and Sports Relief, the aim of Garden Re-Leaf Day was to celebrate the start of the garden year with fundraising events to raise money for Greenfingers, a charity dedicated to improving the lives of children in hospices through the creation of magical gardens.

For the garden industry, the day creates valuable team building opportunities and brings more shoppers into garden centres earlier to extend the peak spring season. Garden centre managers, staff and other industry professionals tirelessly set up fun and exciting ways to not only raise money for Greenfingers, but also to promote gardening as an enjoyable pastime.

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Greenfingers charity cheque

GARDEN centre and horticultural industry staff are this month (January, 2019) being asked to sign up for a fundraising event being held at the Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) annual conference.