We’re thrilled to announce our Ottery St Mary garden centre raised over £17,000 for end of life charity Hospiscare during 2023.

This represents the largest amount we’ve ever raised for a charity in a single year.

Donations came in via a combination of staff and customer events, including bingo and quiz evenings, tombola, the Memory Tree, a skydive, fundraising walk, and parking for the Tar Barrels in November. In December, the ever popular penguin and reindeer animations brought in plenty of donations, boosted by appearances from Father Christmas.

Hospiscare Area Fundraiser, Toni Hiscocks says, “It’s the biggest cheque I’ve ever had to write out – the Otter team are a force to be reckoned with!

“Hospiscare is a vital service for local people. Although we can’t change a terminal diagnosis, we want to be there, ensuring that those with life-limiting illnesses receive expert palliative and end-of-life care at no cost to them or their family. We want to be there for the friends and families of our patients, providing the support and advice they need. But as a local charity, we are reliant on donations and gifts in wills to fund our services – so we really couldn’t be more grateful to the staff at Otter Garden Centre and Otter Vale Friends of Hospiscare for their collaboration.”

Hospiscare supports over 2,000 adults every year through a range of bespoke services, including at home visits, a short stay ward in Exeter, management of symptoms, spiritual care and, as important, bereavement support for families both before and after a loss. From just one nurse caring for patients in Exeter, the charity has grown to reach more patients and families across Exeter, Mid and East Devon and the service now spans 1,028 square miles of Devon’s heartland.

Chairman of the Otter Vale Friends of Hospiscare team, David Roberts adds, “I’d like to thank Otter for this fantastic sum. We’re greatly indebted and very grateful for all the hard work. It was a real team effort and it’s wonderful to have this close relationship with our local garden centre.”

The donation underscores Otter Garden Centre’s deep-rooted commitment to supporting local charities and making a tangible difference in the lives of those in need. The generous donation to Hospiscare reflects the genuine spirit of community that has been a hallmark of the garden centre’s six decades of operation.

Otter Garden Centres Managing Director, Jacqui Taylor says, “This is an important local charity that is close to our hearts. I’m incredibly proud of all our team members who went the extra mile for Hospiscare, as well as our customers who continue to amaze us with their generosity.”

Thanks to everyone who dug deep!