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GROW hits its target!

GROW hits its target!

Wednesday 31 August 2022

GROW hits its target!

Wednesday 31 August 2022

Guernsey's Rural Occupational Workshop has raised just over three million pounds to fund its redevelopment, thanks to "the generosity of many kind people".

GROW Director, Marguerite Talmage announced the fundraising total yesterday, while meeting with staff, volunteers and supporters at its Coutanchez site.

"We’ve done it!" said Mrs Talmage, who joined other directors in thanking everyone who has donated to the redevelopment appeal.

"In fact thanks to the generosity of many kind people the total raised to date £3,019,629," she said.


Pictured: Marguerite Talmage (left) is a Director of GROW. The Guernsey Rural Occupational Workshop has received funds from different streams over the years, including a cookbook, backed by Deloitte.

A £3million target was initially set in 2020 to enable a major upgrade at the charity's headquarters. That target has now been exceeded and Mrs Talmage said there was an extra incentive to hit the target over the last few weeks.

GROW crossed the line after beating a challenge set for them by campaign patrons, Guy and Julia Hands who pledged £125,000 if GROW could raise the final £325,000 by the end of August. 

Mrs Talmage confirmed the fundraisers had collectively worked together to hit their new target.  

The charity accepted the challenge and quickly put in place strong media and social media campaigns to raise public awareness and encourage the local community to get behind the appeal.  

"We have been humbled and overwhelmed in equal measure by the generosity of local people," said GROW Chairman, Mark Dunster. "Donations from £10 to many thousands of pounds have been sent to us during the challenge period, demonstrating just how keen people have been to help us over the line. Every single donation is very much appreciated. It’s been an exciting time at Avondale Vinery, our temporary site, as the GROW team have watched the total rise."


Pictured: Staff at GROW moved to a temporary workshop, at the Avondale Vinery site, while work was being done to their HQ. 

Mr Dunster said Mr and Mrs Hands, and others, have been very supportive in backing the fund-raising appeal. 

"Guy and Julia have been tremendous supporters,’ he said. "From the start they have kept up to date with progress. There is no doubt that their involvement has given others the confidence to join them in supporting the fundraising appeal." 

Mr and Mrs Hands said they will remain big supporters of GROW as it enters a new phase of life.

"We are absolutely thrilled that the full £3,000,000 has now been raised," said Julia Hands. "We agreed to become patrons in April last year having visited GROW and seen for ourselves just how much the Crew benefit from the training environment. We were not only extremely impressed with plans for the new facility, which will provide unequalled opportunities for the Crew, but also the sheer determination of the Directors and staff to bring it to fruition."


Pictured (l-r): Julia Hands, Mark Dunster, Guy Hands. 

Work on site is continuing and is due to be finished in Spring next year.

Current plans include a 'soft opening' in April or May 2023, during which time the site will remain closed to the public so the GROW crew and staff can become fully confident in their new facilities. 

After that, the plan will be to hold an official opening where supporters can come to see how the £3million has been spent. 

Mr Dunster said that will be an event to say thank you to many different people.

"We are planning an official opening in mid July as a very big ‘thank you’ to the local community for supporting the appeal. We shall be sending a special invitation to our supporters and anyone interested will be welcome to visit us and tour the site."

Pictured top: GROW crew members and supporters celebrating reaching their fundraising target this week.


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