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How the generous Glossop Gardeners have supported a local charity

Some of the Glossop Gardeners with the Reuben's Retreat mascot Reu The Gnu.

A kind bunch of green-fingered folk have been hard at work maintaining the gardens of a Glossop-based charity free of charge.

Glossop Gardeners, which formed in 2009, have generously given up many hours of their free time on a regular basis for more than three years to ensure the grounds at Reuben’s Retreat are looking fantastic and tidy.  

A group of dedicated club members offer their services to take care of all of the charity’s gardening needs and have even received an award for their efforts, scooping Volunteer of the Month by Progressive Travel Recruitment in September 2019. The money from it was used by the group to buy plants and materials for the gardens.

Ian Simpson, chairman of Glossop Gardeners, told the Chronicle: “When Shire Hill Hospital closed in May 2018, it was decided that the garden bench we had donated to them would be presented to Reuben’s Retreat and we would offer our help to them instead.  

“We started off by doing some general weeding and tidying up around the lodge building to improve the appearance for visitors and the Reubens Retreat staff. Since then seven or eight members have gone regularly on a Monday throughout the year and taken on more projects across the whole site including planting of new raised beds and reclaiming the original flower beds alongside the new hydrotherapy suite with plants donated by club members.  

“Now the autumn is here, we will turn our hands to sweeping up leaves, planting bulbs, trimming hedges and building more compost bins.  

“We enjoy doing it and Reuben’s Retreat are very appreciative of what we do. We had an end-of-season lunch and tour recently and, after seeing the work the charity does, it only spurred our members on to do even more and to spread the word about the charity.”  

Reuben’s Retreat was founded in 2012 in memory of Reuben Graham, who passed away aged 23 months, by his mum Nicola to help support other families facing an uncertain future and those bereaved of a precious child.  

The charity is now based in its ‘forever home’ on the site of the former Woods Hospital in Glossop.  

Stacey Kirkpatrick, Senior Fundraiser at Reuben’s Retreat, said: “The gardeners have been involved for a number of years now and gift us hours and hours of their precious time.  

“We are forever grateful for all their efforts in creating a wonderful welcome at Reuben’s Retreat and the time they gift us to take care of our plants and flowers.  

“We wouldn’t be the charity we are today without our army of compassionate hearts including our talented green-fingered friends at Glossop Gardeners.”  

Glossop Gardeners, which currently has around 120 members and 20 plus on a waiting list, organise social events, day trips, garden visits and have meetings with speakers.

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