Disability charity Minstead Trust launches fundraiser for Oaks to celebrate 100th anniversary

An ASSOCIATION which supports people with mental disabilities offers the public the opportunity to buy one of the 100 oak trees on the occasion of the centenary of a garden it owns.

Minstead Trust, which helps around 200 people achieve greater independence, runs Furzey Gardens as a social enterprise.

The 10-acre site provides opportunities for training and work experience through tending the gardens, growing plants in the nursery and serving in the tea rooms.

A giant fairy door at Furzey Gardens

The gardens were first planted by the Dalrymple family as an informal woodland garden in 1922. They contain collections of botanically and historically significant plants from around the world with a wide range of trees, shrubs and plants herbaceous perennials, such as Acers, Rhododendrons and Primulas.

To commemorate its centenary, the trust is inviting the public to donate to its Special Years Appeal, which aims to raise £500,000. The charity has raised over £110,000 for the appeal so far.

The fundraising campaign includes the opportunity to be one of 100 oak sponsors, as well as bidding on premium items and experiences including hotel stays, local art and pottery classes in the trust’s online auction.

The charity is also running a raffle, with a top prize of £1,000 cash, and people are invited to share their memories of the gardens on an online memory wall.

Development Director Dawn Wood said: “We want to mark 100 years of Furzey Gardens by continuing to give back to the people who benefit from it.

“Not only does it provide great work and training opportunities for people with learning disabilities, but it’s also a wonderful place of escape for so many people.

“We want to make sure his future is secure for those who need him and love him.”

To donate or for more information on the Special Years Appeal, visit www.minsteadtrust.org.uk/furzey-gardens/special-years