Garden centre staff smash their target for mental health charity

Kind-hearted staff at a destination garden centre near Bradford have completed an 18 kilometre walk to raise funds for a Shipley charity.

14 colleagues from Tong Garden Centre donned their walking boots for the trek round Ullswater in the Lake District and raised a total of £3,868.75 for The Cellar Trust in the process.

It took the group four hours and 13 minutes to finish the walk, and marketing assistant Pete Casci, who came up with the fundraising idea, was delighted with the final amount raised.

He said: “We’re over the moon to have reached our target, almost doubling the £2,000 target that we set ourselves. It was a fun walk and a great day with fabulous colleagues, and all for The Cellar Trust – what’s not to like?”

The Cellar Trust head of fundraising and development Andrew McCarthy said: “It’s really fantastic to have support from the Tong Garden Centre team. The partnership is making people across Bradford more aware of who we are, and how we can help people experiencing mental health problems.

“Tong’s fundraising efforts have been amazing too. We need to raise around £300,000 each year to make sure we can keep delivering our life-saving, and life-changing services. The money raised by the Tong team’s walk will help us do that.”

The walkers and colleagues at the garden centre also held a successful treadmill fundraising weekend just days before the event in a bid to boost funds.

The Cellar Trust, a charity that helps people in the Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven areas recovering from mental health problems to get back into work, is Tong’s charity of the year. It started life as a project in the mid-1980s when a social worker wanted to help people with long-term mental health problems back into employment.

Tong Garden Centre pledged to raise £10,000 for the charity in 2017 after one of the Cellar Trust’s placement students, Dion Magyar, was employed as a permanent member of staff at Tong.