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

LAST UPDATED 29th September 2021

Over £98,000 raised to date

If you are interested in taking part in 2022, please contact Geoff Stonebanks, the organiser, for more information on the event.

Gardens taking part next year will be posted in the first few months of 2022.

We raised over £8000 for the charity over the weekend of 24th and 25th July 2021, thank you so much to owners, volunteers and visitors. Macmillan tweeted their appreciation as seen below.

Our patron, TV Gardener Christine Walkden, posted this message of congratulations on Twitter.

Emma Hammett, Regional Fundraising Manager for Macmillan in the area said.
"A huge thank you to every single garden owner who participated in the trail over the weekend to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support's Horizon Centre in Brighton. With a special thank you going to Geoff Stonebanks who organised the event and heads up the Driftwood Fundraising Group. Geoff has been supporting the charity for many years and we are so grateful for his dedication and support. Your efforts mean that we will be able to be there for people living with cancer in Brighton and the surrounding areas, which is both fantastic and admirable."

Geoff Brown, the Horizon Centre Manager said "Thank you so much Geoff and thank you to all who opened their gardens. An amazing effort and contribution to enable Macmillan to continue to offer much needed support. Thank you very much!"

Details of the 2022 event will be posted as they become known. The trail will take place over the weekend of 23rd and 24th July 2022.

Many gardens that open have steps and narrow paths meaning that disabled wheelchair access is not possible.
For advice on access across the trail, please call
01323 899296.

When coronavirus hit, thousands of vital cancer treatments, surgeries and appointments were cancelled. This cannot happen again. Join Macmillan's call for urgent action from UK Governments to protect cancer services. Click image to visit Macmillan's web site

Never before have Macmillan needed our donations more!
After the devastating pandemic of 2020 and the significant drop in their much needed income to support those suffering with cancer, any donations you are able to offer can be made by clicking below.

Despite the problems in 2020, the group raised almost £4300 for Macmillan, thanks primarily to Group Chair Geoff Stonebanks's online fundraisers for his birthday and virtual tour of his Christmas decorations. Jan Wilks made and sold face masks in the first lockdown, Stanford & Cleveland Community Garden sold plants all summer, Beryl Brown made and sold gorgeous Christmas cake and Adam and Dan from 11 Rugby Road made a good donation too. All this in addition to the monies raised from the virtual tour garden trail tours.

You can still view these short virtual garden films here.

Below, our Patron, Christine Walkden, cutting the ribbon to open the last trail in July 2019 trail at Driftwood with trail organiser, Geoff Stonebanks and Ruth Leonard (Head of Volunteering Development at Macmillan).

The generous people of Sussex raised £3.7m to help fund the building of the Macmillan Horizon Centre, but more is still needed. The running costs of the centre are covered by Macmillan Cancer Support, and services provided by a team of skilled local volunteers. Macmillan is funded solely by donations and the running costs of the centre are over £650,000 per annum. All monies raised from this trail will support Macmillan in it's operation.

All the monies raised from entrance fees to the gardens, monies raised by selling raffle tickets, along with the proceeds from the sales of teas and coffees will go towards maintaining and operating the new Cancer Support Centre in Brighton. Any stalls operated in the gardens will donate a percentage of their proceeds to the charity as well.

In addition to the monies raised on the trail Geoff Stonebanks also raises money for Macmillan through income from private visits to his own garden, Driftwood throughout the Summer, through raffle of artist donated pieces and proceeds from the sale of tea and cakes at many charity openings. Over £98000 raised to date!

In December 2017, trail organiser, Geoff Stonebanks, received an invitation from Buckingham Palace. His Royal Highness, Prince Charles 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 His Royal Highness, 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.

Ruth Leonard, Head of Volunteering Development at Macmillan Cancer Support said at the opening in 2019, "Fundraised income makes up 98% of Macmillan’s income, which means the dedication and generosity of our supporters like Geoff is absolutely essential to changing the lives of people living with cancer. Thanks to the effort of such incredible fundraisers we raised a tremendous £230.8 million in 2018. It is 2.5 years since we opened our dedicated Information and support centre in Brighton, the Horizon Centre and since its launch it has supported 100’s of people living with cancer in Sussex, to live life as fully as they can. Geoff has singlehandedly raised nearly £80 thousand for the Horizon Centre through his Driftwood Fundraising Group Committee, including £53,000 from this amazing Macmillan Coastal Garden trail alone. Geoff, on behalf of Macmillan, I’d like to say thank you."

Christine Walkden's horticultural knowledge, combined with her obvious passion for gardening is what has made her a TV and radio favourite, and The One Show’s resident gardening expert, along with being a regular pannelist on Gardeners' Question Time. Autumn 2014 saw her in a 15 part series on BBC1 called "Glorious Gardens from Above". Christine said "I support cancer charities as we have had problems in the family so I know myself what people go through and also how its upsets families as well. I just hope it may help you." See Christine's web site HERE.

Surprisingly the BBC2 series Christine did a few years ago, Christine's Garden is not available on DVD but you can see them all on YouTube for free. Check them out HERE!

In 2019, Christine generously agreed to travel to Sussex to open the event in the award winning garden of organiser, Geoff Stonebanks. She said "Opening gardens and sharing them with others is a great treat for all. It generates a sense of community, camaraderie and interest in the beauty that gardeners create. I am thrilled to continue as patron for the fifth year, especially having seen it first hand."

Christine goes on to say "There are probably umpteen better gardens down my street, but it doesn't bother me - I'm not competitive or pretentious. I don't want a showcase garden. It's the relationship I have with my garden that matters."

Christine can be seen above in Geoff's garden with 2 visitors.

Over £98000 has now been raised by Geoff's Driftwood Fundraising Group since 2012!

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 £98000 of that.

Please contact Geoff Stonebanks, the organiser for more information on the event.