Open gardens fundraiser to fight cancer

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Sutton Coldfield couple Chris and Simon Kimberley are inviting the public into their garden for the sixth year in a row. The couple are hosting an open garden to raise funds for The Cancer Support Centre which is located in Lindridge Road Sutton Coldfield.

Having had to miss the last two years, due to the Covid pandemic, Simon and Chris are thrilled to welcome visitors back to their garden at 258 Dower Road, Sutton Coldfield on Sunday, July 31, between 2pm and 6pm.

Chris and Simon Kimberley

Whilst you’re there, why not pop down to 246 Dower Road to visit Dave and Margaret’s garden? The entry cost of £5 for adults will admit you to both gardens.

Chris Kimberley has volunteered at the Cancer Support Centre for more than 15 years, and what started as inviting a few friends and other volunteers has grown into an event where tea and homemade cakes can be enjoyed, while soaking up the sun in their beautiful garden. The event has even carried on in the wettest of weather when the tea and cakes and views of the garden can still be appreciated from undercover. 

Chris and Simon’s garden is full of beautiful plants.

There’s lots to do too; there are plants for sale, games can also be played, Or take a stroll around the garden and find a secluded seat on one of the many comfortable benches.

Celebrating its 21st birthday in 2022, The Cancer Support Centre is an independent charity that works to provide a place of sanctuary and support to all those affected by cancer. The dedication of all those who volunteer and work there is second to none. 

Stroll around the gardens. and enjoy a cuppa and cake.

Clients and their carers have the choice of all the facilities they want to access which include one-to-one therapy sessions, group therapies, group activities and learning about self-help techniques. The centre is particularly focusing on equipping clients with a range of self-help techniques.

Until the pandemic hit, year on year more clients were making use of the services the centre has to offer. However, beginning in March 2020 when the doors to the Centre had to close the focus was shifted to an online and telephone service in order to continue to support those who most needed it. From September of that year the doors were reopened with the most stringent Covid precautions in place and gradually those who are able to have returned to once again receive the one-to-one therapies that are on offer while group sessions are also recommencing.

The centre is completely reliant on donations and fundraising as it receives no government or NHS funding; each year it needs to raise in excess of £100,000 to fund the services it provides.

Due to the pandemic, fundraising took a major halt, long planned events were unfortunately cancelled and most fundraising went online.

It is a slow process making up for lost time, which means it is more important than ever to build support for the fundraising events that are now happening.

Chris and Simon’s garden has evolved over the years, from a neglected space to the much adored space that they both love being in. While the initial intention was to develop a garden that could be enjoyed from a deckchair, they soon realised they thrived from the time spent hands-on in the garden sharing it with others.

A beautiful space to enjoy.

Since moving to Dower Road, seven years ago, Dave and Margaret have completely redeveloped their garden. It has been designed to give year-round interest. They are in the process of realising a long held dream of having a wild-life friendly, relaxing garden which is a feast on the eye and senses throughout the year.

Their garden has been designed on three levels, the lower level having previously been a tennis court and an orchard now includes a gravel garden, mixed beds, lawns, a wildlife pond and feature trees. Like Chris and Simon they believe that gardens should be shared and are delighted to open theirs for such an important cause.

The two open gardens will support The Sutton Cancer Support Centre in Sutton Coldfield.

Teas and homemade cakes will be available at number 258 as well as plants for sale and everyone who comes along will be entered into a free raffle for a spectacular prize.

The open gardens at 246 and 258 Dower Road, Sutton Coldfield take place on Sunday, July 31 from 2pm to 6pm. Entry to the two gardens will cost £5, children enter for free.

The Cancer Support Centre is based at Lindridge Road, Sutton Coldfield. For more details visit or call 0300 012 0245.


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