Reg charity: England and Wales (261017), Scotland (SC039907) and the Isle of Man (604).

Current total 114,825.

LAST UPDATED 15th March 2024

You can donate to Geoff's fundraising by clicking the button above.

Below left is a copy of the receipt from Macmillan of monies raised in 2023.

I have been raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support since 2012. Driftwood Fundraising Group Committee, of which I am both Chair and Treasurer was set up in 2012. In essence it was a single person committee, set up to manage the Macmillan Coastal Garden Trail. This encompassed a vast range of both administrative and practical tasks ranging from recruiting gardens, visiting to assess suitability, risk assessing the plots and supporting garden owners through to opening.

In addition, I built and maintained a comprehensive web site for the Macmillan Coastal Garden Trail, created and designed all the publicity, marketing and published the trail booklet for the annual event. I consolidated and banked all income after the event and engaged with local celebrities, MP and community leaders to support event on trail weekend for the official opening

I was also successful in recruiting TV gardener, Christine Walkden, as its patron. The final trail took place in 2022.

In addition to the trail funds raised, funds from my own garden, Driftwood have been donated to the charity and will continue to do so in the coming years!

Since 2009 I have opened my own award-winning garden with entrance going to Macmillan Horizon Centre in Brighton. I have personally baked 10,000 portions of cake over the years to sell, all served on my large collection of vintage china in garden, with proceeds to Macmillan. We've served over 12,000 cups of tea and coffee over the years with proceeds to Macmillan too. I devised 2 different talks about gardening and charity fundraising to deliver to WI, U3A, Gardening Clubs and the like through the winter with my fees going to Macmillan. Between 2009 and 2019, I staged a raffle of artwork each summer with pieces donated by local artists, with all monies going to Macmillan and have staged fundraising events on social media eg, naked gardening day in 2020 and raised over 800.

In January 2023, I was notified by Macmillan Cancer Support that I had been nominated, multiple times, for
The Thanks To You Awards.
In February they confirmed I had been shortlisted and on 21st February they confirmed I was a finalist in the category,
Outstanding Supporter Award 2023. Click here to see all the finalists across all 6 categories.

A grand award ceremony was held in Birmingham on the 1st June and all finalists attended. I was one of 9 in the Outstanding Supporter award but lost out to an amazing group of ladies from Northern Ireland.

In the run up to Volunteers Week, Macmillan published a piece in Sussex Express about 2 East Sussex volunteers, one of whom was me.

On hearing I had been crowned one of the 500 Coronation Champions, Macmillan published a piece on their website and social media. Click image to view.

A full page article appeared in the April issue of Seaford Scene magazine on the upcoming Macmillan Awards.

This piece appeared in Sussex Express on 3rd March.

On 24th February, a short piece appeared in The Argus newspaper in Brighton about the upcoming awards ceremony. It also appeared online on Thursday 23rd February too, read here

After 12 years, I made the decision to stop organising the trail after the 2022 event and received the letter, (left) from Macmillan Cancer Support's, out going, CEO, Lynda Thomas, in September, in recognition of my efforts, click to read.

The final garden trail took place in July 2022 and we raised 7114.61 across the weekend.

The current running total we have raised for the charity is 109,000.

Christine Walkden, who had been our loyal Patron from the start, joined us at Driftwood in 2022 to celebrate the 100k raised.

In addition to the monies raised on the trail I also raise money for Macmillan through income from private visits to my own garden, Driftwood throughout the Summer, from the sale of tea and cakes and garden entrance fees. This totalled 4425 in 2022

Emma Tingley, Head of Partnerships for London & South East Regions of the charity attended a tea party at Driftwood for this year's trail garden owners and said "It was fantastic to meet you both and hear about the incredible work you've done to support Macmillan over so many years, not only through your own personal efforts, but by being such an incredible catalyst in your community and beyond. I only wish I'd met you years ago! I've never heard of anyone who's baked 9000 portions of cake for an open garden before, utterly bonkers, but clearly a winning recipe for such a successful decade of opening your garden and creating a garden trail with others, for so many people to enjoy. A huge thank you for allowing Macmillan to be the beneficiary of that success. The over 100,000 that you've raised will have made a real difference to people with cancer in Sussex."

Moving forward to 2024, Driftwood will open for the charity from 1st June through until 31st July, when all proceeds from entrance and tea and cakes will go to the charity, with the exception of those visitors who book through the National Garden Scheme.

In December 2017, trail organiser, Geoff Stonebanks, received an invitation from Buckingham Palace. His Majesty King Charles III, then the Prince of Wales, invited him to a reception for Macmillan Cancer Support in January 2018. Macmillan said it was a thank you for him having made a significant difference to the charity and to those suffering with cancer! Read all about his experience visiting the Palace here.

It was an amazing evening for Geoff at Buckingham Palace, in January 2018, meeting The King, then The Prince of Wales, at a reception for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Geoff has attended a Macmillan Executive Team Meeting in the Horizon Centre, Brighton where The Trustees and Board met with groups of volunteers and staff at the centre and heard direct from Geoff about his fundraising work with the charity, both the trail and other events in his own garden Driftwood. He can be seen here with Chief Executive of Macmillan, Lynda Thomas prior to the meeting.

In September 2016, Geoff and some of his garden supporters, were invited to a preview of the centre and were amazed to find that Driftwood Fundraising Group was listed on the roll call of supporters who have raised money for the centre. Sussex Committees have raised over 1.1 million and Driftwood 109000 of that.

Geoff can be contacted here, for more information on his fundraising for the charity.