Homegrown fundraiser raises £20,000 to support refugees

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A Grappenhall woman has raised a staggering £20,000 for charities supporting refugees by selling homegrown and homemade produce from the end of her driveway.

During the pandemic, Madeleine Holder sold an estimated 3,000 face masks to passersby and struggled to keep up with demand as she kept busy growing produce from seeds over two years.

The culmination of her hard work was raising £20,000 for two charities, care UK and refugee Support EU and in her spare time, Madeleine found time to volunteer at refugee camps in Greece and Cyrpus!

Madeleine explained; “I have grown a lot of plants for my garden from seed for a long time. At the start of lockdown, I sowed a lot more – tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, beans, bedding plants etc and put them on display outside. A lot of people walk past our house, and this was particularly the case during the lockdown. The plants sold well and I sowed a lot more increasing the amount in the following two years.

“When there was talk of face coverings coming in I started making cloth masks and soon I found that it was difficult to keep up with demand. Masks are no longer making an appearance on the stall but I have sold well over three thousand!

“I added homemade jams, curds and chutneys and I am now selling a lot of these with lemon curd being a favourite. I have been greatly helped by the generosity of people giving me plant pots, jam jars and also some plants to sell.

“The total raised has now topped £20,000, which needless to say I am delighted with. The money has been donated mainly to two charities: CARE UK and Refugee Support EU, both of which I am involved with.”

CARE UK was set up about six years ago by Appleton Thorn resident Nora Carlin after the death of a two-year-old Syrian boy in the Mediterranean, to send aid to refugees in Syria and Greece. Since then the charity has grown and offers support to a range of people, including many locally. The motto of the charity is “Helping those in need wherever they are.”

Madeleine added: “I heard about Refugee Support EU through CARE UK and have volunteered with them in Greece and Cyprus in refugee camps and centres. Both organisations are currently assisting Ukrainian refugees.”


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Experienced journalist for more than 40 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with three in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Director Warrington Chamber of Commerce Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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