Gardens open gates for youth club cash

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Article by Oxford Mail: 27th June 2015

NORTH Oxford gardeners will throw open their gates tomorrow in the hope of raising up to £1,500 for the Rose Hill Junior Youth Club.

It is the first of a series of events planned by Rebecca Mather, Bebe Speed, Sally Lowe and Chris Caunt, who decided to support the youth club after community worker Fran Gardner, who runs the club, was given a High Sherriff award last year.

Retired psychiatrist Mrs Mather said: “When Fran won the High Sherriff award we became aware that the club needed funding.

“We went down one day and we were very interested by what they were doing.”

“Fran is very dynamic and has a huge amount of energy. It is fantastic what she is doing.

“The children do so much structural play and everything else, there is such a great atmosphere.

“The children said to us they enjoyed meeting their peers and other children outside school.”

Tomorrow’s event will see up to 100 invited guests, who have each paid £15 for the privilege, being treated to tea and a chance to look around horticultural masterpieces normally closed to the public.

Mrs Mather said: “People like looking around other people’s gardens.

“We have got probably about 60 people registered so far but I think we might have up to 100.

“We are planning more events in the future, including a Beatles tribute band.”

Community worker Ms Gardner was given the High Sherriff’s award for her work running cookery classes and the junior youth club.

The club was set up in February 2011 and now has more than 80 youngsters who regularly attend. Earlier this month it was granted charitable status by the Charity commission, allowing it to approach a wider range of donors for funding.

Ms Gardner said: “Rose Hill Junior Youth Club is thrilled and delighted that these ladies decided to form this fundraising committee.

“This is a first for us because our fundraising is done by more traditional methods.

“The main thing for us is that the ladies have got such amazing, wonderful contacts across Oxford.

“We could not do this alone.

“We are really excited, and really grateful to them for doing this.”