GCG announces its first national charity partnership, pledging to try and raise more than £500,000 for Marie Curie through a programme of gardening-inspired fundraising, volunteering initiatives and commercial activity.
The decision to partner with Marie Curie was made following a vote by staff at Garden Centre Group.
The 'Gardens for Good' partnership will run for two years, during which time GCG aims to raise over £500,000 for the charity, which provides care to people with terminal illnesses in their own homes and in its nine hospices. The partnership will help Marie Curie Nurses provide at least an additional 25,000 hours of free, hands-on care.
Activity launches during Marie Curie's biggest annual fundraising campaign, the Great Daffodil Appeal. GCG will donate 50p from the sale of each £4.99 pot of daffodils across its network of garden centres. Daffodil collection boxes will also be placed at all 850 till points, while staff fundraising initiatives and Marie Curie collectors stationed at a number of centres across England and Wales will further boost the money raised.
GCG chairman Stephen Murphy said: "We are delighted to have selected Marie Curie as our national charity partner for 'Gardens for Good' over the next two years following an all colleague vote. The work Marie Curie does is invaluable and we know that many people being cared for by the charity have a huge affection for their gardens. This makes our 'Gardens for Good' partnership truly relevant for our staff, our supplier partners and our customers. We hope to both raise significant funds from a wide range of initiatives and provide many volunteering opportunities over the next two years to support the great work that Marie Curie does."
Marie Curie chief executive Dr Jane Collins said: "Everyone at Marie Curie is excited about working with The Garden Centre Group. Being cared for at home means our patients can continue to enjoy their gardens, which often hold many happy memories. Our hospice gardens, just as those our patients have tended to over the years, provide a relaxing environment for families to spend time together. We are looking forward to developing gardening-inspired fundraising and volunteering opportunities to engage all 5,000 staff across all 130 centres, as well as customers and suppliers. The funds raised from the partnership will ensure that Marie Curie Nurses can provide more care to terminally ill people and support to their families in communities across the country."