Veronica prepares to open garden for Sid Valley causes

PUBLISHED: 14:55 22 June 2017

Veronica Woods in her garden 'Runnymeade' with Sue Maynard, Cheryl Allen (sidmouth in bloom), Andrea Allen (hospiscare),Di Garnett,Hedley Allen and Bob Garnett for Sidmouth's secret gardens. Ref shs 25 17TI 5165. Picture: Terry Ife

Veronica Woods in her garden 'Runnymeade' with Sue Maynard, Cheryl Allen (sidmouth in bloom), Andrea Allen (hospiscare),Di Garnett,Hedley Allen and Bob Garnett for Sidmouth's secret gardens. Ref shs 25 17TI 5165. Picture: Terry Ife

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Friends have joined forces to help a Sidmouth grandmother keep her garden open to boost worthy causes.

Veronica Woods in her garden 'Runnymeade' with Sue Maynard, Cheryl Allen (sidmouth in bloom), Andrea Allen (hospiscare),Di Garnett,Hedley Allen and Bob Garnett for Sidmouth's secret gardens. Ref shs 25 17TI 5163. Picture: Terry IfeVeronica Woods in her garden 'Runnymeade' with Sue Maynard, Cheryl Allen (sidmouth in bloom), Andrea Allen (hospiscare),Di Garnett,Hedley Allen and Bob Garnett for Sidmouth's secret gardens. Ref shs 25 17TI 5163. Picture: Terry Ife

Veronica Woods is once again welcoming visitors to her home at Runnymeade, Orchard Close, for two events in July.

The 82-year-old, who now suffers from poor eyesight, has had help from friends to help her maintain her garden to a high standard.

She said: “It is difficult. I cannot see very well, I need a lot of help in the garden. They are really kind and helpful. It’s a struggle to keep the standard up.”

Veronica has raised more than £10,000 through similar events, after first opening her garden six years ago for charity, in tribute to her husband Bill, who was diagnosed with dementia.

Sue Maynard in her garden with Cheryl Allen of Sidmouth In Bloom for Sidmouth's secret gardens. Ref shs 25 17TI 5159. Picture: Terry IfeSue Maynard in her garden with Cheryl Allen of Sidmouth In Bloom for Sidmouth's secret gardens. Ref shs 25 17TI 5159. Picture: Terry Ife

The former carer said she wished an Admiral Nurse had been around while he was alive.

The grandmother-of-five said: “I would have loved to have had the support of one of them. We did not have an Admiral Nurse and did not have that support until the team at the memory café began to try to raise money for one.

Through her open weekends on July 1-2 and July 15-16, Veronica will be donating proceeds to the Admiral Nurse Campaign, as well as Sidmouth in Bloom, Sidmouth Hospiscare and Children Hospice South West.

“I think Sidmouth Hospiscare do such a good job,” added Veronica.

“I think it is so important for end-of-life care that people should have the support.

Tickets are on sale for the ‘secret garden’ event which costs £7. Visitors wanting to see Runnymeade will be able to pay an extra £3 to see it and two neighbouring properties.

The garden will open from 2pm to 5pm on July 1 and 2 in aid of Sidmouth in Bloom.

On July 15 and 16, the gardens will open again from 2pm to 5pm for the Admiral Nurse, Sidmouth Hospiscare and Children Hospice South West. Tickets cost £3, refreshments will be available.

Adrian Ford, an Admiral Nurse trustee, said: “After our successful campaign to secure an Admiral Nurse for the Sid Valley, it is really important that we continue our fund raising so that we can retain this valuable asset for the community in the years to come.”

Gill Ryall, CEO of Sidmouth Hospiscare, said: “This is so good for raising awareness of Sidmouth Hospiscare, and for helping to ensure continued provision of specialist nursing care and volunteer support for patients with life-limiting illnesses, as well as support for their carers and families.”

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