“My first donation was £16. But that was a long time ago; it was worth a lot more back then.”

For 25 years Maureen Weaver has opened her garden to the public to raise funds for Father Hudson’s Care.

Located on her farm in the Worcestershire countryside, Maureen’s half-acre garden abounds with year-round colour from a wide range of cottage garden plants. It is a perfect complement to her nursery, which sells plants not commonly available in garden centres.

During her 25 years of fundraising for Father Hudson’s Care, Maureen has raised over £8,000 from voluntary donations made by visitors to her garden.

“Well I’d be doing it anyway,” she says when congratulated on her many years of dedication. For Maureen, raising funds for Father Hudson’s Care is simply part of her life.

“It started at church,” she says. “They were asking for people to do something for their chosen charity, so I thought I could do something for Father Hudson’s. And I decided to open my garden in return for donations. The church gave me a collection box to use and I just put that out for visitors.”

From that initial idea, Maureen’s fundraising blossomed and she was invited to join the National Garden Scheme, which sees people across the country open their gardens for charity.

Although she left the Scheme in recent years, Maureen still opens her garden daily to customers of her farm and nursery and collects donations for our work.

She also regularly supports through individual donations and collections at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Droitwich.

Through opening her garden, Maureen has brought joy to visitors for over two decades.

And through her fundraising, she has helped to transform the lives of countless people who benefit from Father Hudson’s services.

“Father Hudson’s has expanded so much over the years to look after so many people. The charity has really branched out. It’s awful that people are living in such poverty, that children are suffering with mental health problems, and someone’s got to do something to help.”

Although surprised to learn that she has generated so many donations, Maureen is very modest about her achievements, both in terms of her fundraising – “Well some people do much more” – and in terms of her garden – “My daughter has a beautiful garden. It’s much tidier than mine.”

Despite Maureen’s self-effacing view, Father Hudson’s Care is extremely grateful to all she has done over the years to support people in need across the Archdiocese. She is a wonderful example of what one person can do to make a difference to people in need – simply by pursuing her passion for gardening.

Our Senior Fundraising Officer, Ginny Cullen, visited Maureen at home to thank her for all she has done over the years.

Ginny presented Maureen with a certificate and thank-you card with a personal message of thanks from the Chief Executive, Andy Quinn.

She also gave Maureen a card made by people who attend St Catherine’s Day Centre, thanking her directly for her part in the care the centre provides.

We thank Maureen for her inspiring work that enables us to reach out to people at their time of need.

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