Cupani Garden in Seaford opened its doors again this year to support local charity Stay Up Late, the National Garden Scheme and Macmillan.
The garden is owned by keen gardeners Aideen and Denis Jones and has been featured in Amateur Gardening and Sussex Life and has been described as “a magical world of plant wizardry” by the Galloping gardner.
The charity Stay Up Late promotes full and active social lives for people with learning disabilities.
They also run their Gig Buddies project across Sussex which matches up socially isolated people with learning disabilities with a volunteer who shares the same tastes in music enabling them to form an ongoing friendship and attend mainstream events together.
Through entrance fees, plant sales and serving lunches and teas the garden raised an incredible £5,957 for the charity and a total of over £8,500 across all the charities they were supporting this year.
Aideen said: “I have supported Stay up Late since its inception, and was a former Gig Buddy and it is lovely in my retirement years to support them in a very practical way.
“I love their ‘can do’ approach to problem solving and I personally know many pairs of Gig Buddies whose lives have been enriched.”
Denis said: “As the first Chair of Stay up Late, when it became a charity, I am delighted that we can support the project through opening our garden.
“We love sharing it with visitors who help us raise these amazing amounts of money and we could not do it without a host of volunteers, many from Stay up Late itself. It is a very tough environment for the charity sector and the great thing about Stay up Late is that a little bit of money goes a long way in terms of providing people with long term and valuing friendships.”
Paul Richards, the charity’s director said: “These are challenging times for people with learning disabilities with funding cuts making it harder to support social activities. Our Gig Buddies project is facing a huge demand from people wanting to access it so these funds will be put to a great use. We’re so grateful for all of Aideen and Denis’s hard work.”