Samantha Joyce

Lina Woehrling

26 February 2024

I love to hold these annual garden parties and the actual giving of time for these events is so rewarding.  

Samantha Joyce

This year will be my 12th fundraising event for a children’s mental health charity. 

I came across Dandelion Time in 2017 when I did a Google Search of local children’s mental health charities, and what a great find! A small, local charity whose approach was to be personable, listening and caring. Everyone mattered.  
So, how did l decide on a garden party? It’s homegrown and broadened over the years. The first year l held a fundraiser l was living in a flat, I just asked my friends to come in for a cuppa, homemade cake and a raffle.  The following years l decided to expand and used the small garden behind the flats and had tables out with a raffle, refreshments were available through the kitchen window.  Passers-by also stopped by to participate. 

Once I’d moved to a bungalow, it gave me more capacity to hold an event. Now l have stalls in my garage for jigsaws, toiletries, alcohol, children’s toys and games, local craft, jewellery, cakes and refreshments. Everything is donated and everyone gives their time for free. Last year l added a silent auction, and this was a great money maker.   

A real crowd puller are my three acting friends who sing, which is always such a delight. Sometimes I have had friends hurriedly walk past saying “We must get seats in the garden for the singing”. With people joining in with the songs, friends love coming as they can meet up for a natter and cuppa (they may only see each other at my garden party). There’s such a hubbub, with people enjoying themselves and this event helps to bring local people together, so it’s helping Dandelion Time and a community. 

I love to hold these annual garden parties and the actual giving of time for these events is so rewarding.  

None of this would be achievable if it wasn’t for a great team of family and friends who volunteer to help “man” the stalls, serve refreshments, sell raffle tickets, go around the guests with “Name the Teddy”. They work tirelessly to make the day so enjoyable and running smoothly. To support a small charity who wants to help children and their families is something very close to my heart.  

I give but l also receive time, generosity, love and care as a part of that friendship.

Remember you want to enjoy your event so make it manageable. You can always add to it another time.

Inspired? Find out how to hold your Own Open Garden event

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