Garden event to raise funds

John and Cynthia Ramsden, garden owners at Fanshawe Hall
John and Cynthia Ramsden, garden owners at Fanshawe Hall

Fanshawe Gate Hall garden in Holmesfield will open to the public on Sunday, May 1, to raise funds to provide clean, safe water and farmer training for the people of Sierra Leone, West Africa.

This Christian Aid-supported project at the venue, near Dronfield, will help farmers to grow more plentiful and varied food in one of the poorest countries in the world.

Garden owners John and Cynthia Ramsden have teamed up with Dronfield and District Christian Aid Committee to help hit the target of £5,000 for their annual Lent project, the equivalent of over 35 million Sierra Leoneon Leones in their currency. A hoe and a rake could be bought for £20, and £30 could provide a bushel of groundnuts to plant, in a country where over half the population live on less than 80p a day. With the European Commission contributing £3 to every £1 raised, the total given to the project could be as much as £20,000.

Barry Jex, chairman of the Dronfield and District Christian Aid Committee said: “Most people in Sierra Leone grow only just enough food to survive, and life expectancy is a mere 45 years. With the help of the Fanshawe Gate Hall garden open day proceeds, we’ll be funding the teaching of different methods of farming, taking advantage of modern European skills to help improve crops and ultimately save people’s lives.”

The opening times are 11am-5pm.