For many years the Wirksworth Rotary Club has run a plant sale in May to raise money for local good causes. A few years ago we teamed up with the Transition Wirksworth Community Growers in order to expand our offering to include vegetables and herbs as well as traditional bedding plants and perennials.
This collaboration has proved to be a great success and we were looking forward to holding this year’s plant sale, when we were to be also to be joined by the Wirksworth U3A Gardening Group. Everything changed of course as the Covid-19 virus started to spread across the world and the country went into lockdown.
As seasoned plants people, we had all our seeds and seedlings overwintering in greenhouses and on windowsills and the idea of throwing all these young plants onto the compost heap was unthinkable. We all agreed that the sale MUST GO ON – the big question was how to make it happen without breaching lockdown and social distancing guidelines.
Out of this the ‘virtual’ plant sale was born. Lists and the descriptions of all the plants for sale were collected from our wonderful team of growers and using social media platforms and public noticeboards we started to spread the word. Timed collections of orders were scheduled at a number of locations and for customers in self-isolation we arranged personal deliveries.
In view of these unprecedented times and the difficulties which so many people in our community are facing as a result of the shutdown of many businesses, it was agreed that all the money from the proceeds of the Plant Sale would be donated to the Jigsaw Foodbank in Matlock.
As a result of the fantastic support of so many people over £2,900 was raised. Out of this total, £750 has already been paid into the Rotary4Foodbanks fund. The Jigsaw Foodbank, nominated by the Bakewell, Matlock and Wirksworth Rotary Clubs in Rotary4Foodbanks, has already received several consignments of extremely valuable staple items for their food bags through this scheme.
Ruth Longfellow from the Jigsaw Foodbank commented, “This is such a generous donation and very much appreciated! It will help us to keep supporting the vulnerable in our community for some time to come.” “We are very grateful for all the generous donations of tinned and packet food we receive from individuals and organisations in the local community, as well as financial donations which enable us to purchase any items we are short of and also the ability to provide fresh fruit and vegetables for our clients. The donations we receive enable us to continue to support these vulnerable, needy families who find themselves in the most desperate of circumstances.”