A local children's charity has had a £3,900 boost from award-winning garden centre and farm shop Garsons of Esher.
The family-run business has spent the past 12 months supporting its charity of the year, Harrison’s Fund, which raises money to find a cure for Duchenne, a rare genetic condition which affects around 2,500 children and young adults in the UK. The charity was set up in 2012 by Alex and Donna Smith from nearby Cobham after their son, Harrison, now aged 13, was diagnosed with Duchenne.
Collection tins have been at tills throughout the garden centre all year round, with additional collection buckets at its popular late-night festive shopping events.
The annual appearance of two live reindeer in the run up to Christmas helped to further boost funds. Visitors were able to visit them for free but encouraged to give any spare change into collection buckets by the reindeer enclosure. Nearby, customers were able to hang their `wish for the future’ on a special Wishing Tree in return for a donation. The first wish to be placed on its branches came from Harrison himself who wished `to find a cure for Duchenne’.
Heather Smith, head of fundraising at Harrison’s Fund, said: “We have loved being part of this partnership with Garsons. The team has been so thoughtful and even went so far as to give Harrison a wonderful Lego set for his birthday last year. They have put on such brilliant events to really help boost our fundraising total, and seeing the reindeers at Christmas was a real highlight.
“We’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who donated from staff through to customers. Because of their support we can continue our work with Sutura Therapeutics which is developing new technologies to help potential treatments reach all muscles in the bodies of children with Duchenne with fewer negative side-effects.”
Duchenne is a fatal neuromuscular condition and one in 3,500 boys is born with it in the UK each year. Although the average life expectancy for someone with Duchenne is 25, often children as young as 10 are losing their fight.
“This is an incredible local charity and we have been very privileged to help them in their fight to find a cure for this terrible disease,” said Garsons marketing and charity coordinator, Melanie Myers. “A huge thank you to our customers for being so generous and helping us achieve this fantastic total.”
For more information about Harrison’s Fund visit www.harrisonsfund.com