GREEN-FINGERED volunteers have staged a special event to show their support for worthy causes in Harwich.

The Harwich Secret Gardens team hosted a presentation evening to award the charities with cash following their popular fundraising efforts over the summer.

The Secret Gardens event is an annual tradition in Harwich, which sees volunteers open their private gardens to the public, while raising money for charity.

This year’s event had around 20 gardeners, all eager to share their passion for nature with residents.

The secret gardens were open only for a day in July due to the pandemic, but green-fingered volunteers still managed to raise enough funds to support important causes.

During the presentation ceremony, the North Essex Support Team was given a £1,000 cash boost which will be used to make Christmas hampers for residents in need.

St Nicholas Church, on the other hand, was awarded £500 to plant a 10ft tall Christmas tree for the community in the church yard.

Frances Vincent, secretary of Harwich Secret Gardens, said: “On the presentation night we had some of the gardeners there and mayor Ivan Henderson presented the cheques.

“I think all the people who open their gardens really enjoy the event.

“It is a change for them to see visitors from out of town who haven’t been in Harwich for a long time.

“It is quite a community spirited couple of days.

“People love it and look forward to coming to the gardens.”

The Secret Gardens event has raised more than £20,000 over the past 11 years and was awarded a Pride of Tendring award in 2018.

Last year’s programme was unfortunately cancelled due to the pandemic, but in 2019 the Secret Gardens made donations to Home-Start Harwich and Esplanade Hall.

A spokesman for the event has added: “Our members vote for the causes they wish to support.

“The purpose of this effort from the start was to open the group’s gardens to the public with the goal that all profits from the weekend would used to benefit local voluntary organisations.

“Harwich Haven Authority have generously agreed to continue their support, for which we are very grateful, while our other loyal commercial advertisers can take a break from supporting us, but we expect to be back to a two-day event in 2022.”

Visit Harwich Secret Gardens on Facebook.

Picture Credit: Maria Fowler