Record year for Norland Open Gardens in Ferring

The ninth Norland Open Gardens in Ferring has raised the highest amount since the neighbourhood event began.

Tuesday, 9th July 2019, 1:17 pm

Village residents living north of the railway line open their gardens every two years to raise money for Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice and have so far raised nearly £32,000 in total.

The event was started in 2006 by Joy Warren and Thelma Devlin, who came up with the idea after visiting another open gardens, and is now run by Joy and Janet Porter, with a core team of residents.

This year’s event on June 23 was supported by Worthing town crier Bob Smytherman and raised £6,489.

Enjoying one of the colourful gardens

There were 20 gardens to see, in Langbury Lane, Highdown Way, Cissbury Road, Downview Road, Downview Avenue and Orchard Close.

Joy and Janet said: “It has been great fun over the years co-ordinating the open gardens event. We are delighted that it has raised so much money to help Chestnut Tree House with their work, as well as bringing about a real community spirit.”

Worthing Rock Choir and 4 in a Bar barbershop quartet provided musical entertainment, while Eight Beat Jive and Keenes Dance Studio demonstrated different dance styles.

Will Lefebve managed to get more than 130 raffle prizes, the largest number the event has seen, and organised a £50 suit game, raising a total of £1,600.

Worthing town crier Bob Smytherman with raffle organiser Will Lefebve and his £50 suit game

Will said: “There were some fabulous prizes and it was a fantastic day.”

Norland Open Gardens will return in 2021 but Joy and Janet have handed over the reins to younger residents, having decided to retire after this year’s event.

Caroline Roberts-Quigley, community fundraiser at Chestnut Tree House, said: “We are extremely grateful to Joy and Janet for all their hard work. The Ferring Norland Open Gardens event has been an amazing success since it first started, raising an incredible amount over the years.

“We need to raise £6,850 every day to pay for all our specialist care services, so this year’s event alone raised enough to pay for almost a whole day of Chestnut Tree House’s care.

Worthing Rock Choir singing their hearts out in Cissbury Road, Ferring

“Without supporters like this, we simply wouldn’t be able to continue helping local children with life-shortening conditions and their families, so I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone involved.”