Huddersfield Children’s Hospice is Garden Centre Charity of the Year

Tong Garden Centre in Bradford has announced that ‘Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice‘ will be its Charity of the Year for 2022, following a suggestion from a team member who has first-hand experience of the charity.

Through a series of fund-raising events and collection boxes at the tills, the team at Tong hopes to raise £10,000 for the charity that delivers CQC rated outstanding care to children with life shortening conditions and their families.

The Charity of the Year fundraising is managed by a committee led by the People and Culture team at the Tong Lane site. Tong’s People and Culture Business Partner – Sustainability Lead, Steph Bates said: “Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice was nominated by Michael Bowers from our warehouse team after the hospice gave Michael and his family a chance to make memories with their beautiful son, Teddy.

Teddy Bear Bowers was born on August 2nd, 2019. Four days after birth, he was diagnosed with inoperable Atrioventricular Septal Defect and Teddy was transferred to Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice which gave Teddy onsite medical care and a place for Teddy and his family to enjoy their last few days together. Teddy sadly passed away on August 10th.

Mr. Bowers and partner, Xena Maud, from Bierley were able to invite family to share the precious time. “Forget Me Not made our time as comfortable as possible. It felt like we were on holiday. We never ever forgot why we were there, but we didn’t have to think about medical jargon or medical care, and we could just focus on enjoying Teddy. We will never forget the memories we could create because of Forget Me Not and we hope that Tong’s fundraising can help other families to receive the same level of care that FMN gave us,” said Mr. Bowers

Plans to raise the funds include a sponsored walk that is the equivalent of Tong to Paris, raffles, silent auctions and team competitions like an Earth Day inspired baking challenge.

Gemma Redford from Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice is delighted with Tong’s support: “Thanks so much to everyone at Tong Garden Centre for choosing Forget Me Not as your charity of the year – it means the world to us and the families we care for to have your support. Every year we need over £4million to run our hospice and without people and businesses like the garden centre raising money we simply wouldn’t be here to provide the vital support that families like Teddy’s need.

With everything Tong Garden Centre has planned in 2022, it’s going to be an amazing year of fundraising!”

To contribute to Tong’s fundraising, please visit:

Forget Me Not was founded in 1998 by Linda Senior who, exhausted by the struggle to find the support that her son, Russell needed locally, recruited friends to her campaign to raise funds to provide specialist hospice care and respite services for children and families. Mrs. Senior and her friends would go on to raise enough funds to build the hospice, Russell House and to provide 24/7 care, not only in their hospice building, but also in families’ own homes. The charity’s patron is HRH Princess Beatrice.

Since Tong Garden Centre was acquired by new owners in 2015, the team and supporters have raised almost £50,000. Previous beneficiaries of Tong’s Charity of the Year initiative include Luke’s Lads, Butterflies Mental Health, The Cellar Trust, Candlelighters and National Literacy Trust. In addition, the team has supported hundreds of smaller charities in the local community.

Tong Garden Centre occupies a 19-acre site in Tong village. It is one of Yorkshire’s biggest independent garden centres with 125,000 square feet of retail space and parking for up to 700 cars.

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