QNI Head of Communications, Matthew Bradby, held a plant sale on 14th May to raise funds for humanitarian relief in Ukraine.

Matthew said, ‘I’d grown a lot of plants over the spring, a lot more than I had space for, so I had the idea to sell them and raise money for the Ukraine relief effort. I’m lucky to have a greenhouse, which is great for growing things like tomatoes, courgettes and other plants that need a bit of extra warmth. I also had a lot of succulent plants and flowering plants I’d grown to attract bees and other pollinators.

I advertised the sale on local Facebook groups, on Twitter, to our local residents’ group list and made some posters to put up in the front window. I potted up all the plants in home-made compost and labelled everything. A friend supplied a Ukraine flag and some pin badges. A neighbour baked a tray of currant buns.’

We're very proud of Matthew - it's such a lovely thing to do and to such a deserving cause. Some of the QNI staff have also bought plants and we look forward to growing them, knowing that we have contributed a little to helping the people of Ukraine.

Dr Crystal Oldman CBE, QNI Chief Executive

‘The morning of the plant sale the weather was fantastic, but as I carried the trays of carefully nurtured plants out to the front garden I thought, I’ve grown far too much, I’m never going to sell all this!! I’d priced most plants at £1-3 and a grapevine and a walnut tree at £5 each.

Luckily my fears were unjustified – I’d only just finished setting up when friends and neighbours started to appear, some of them carrying bags and even pulling shopping trollies. And the plants began to sell! People were extremely generous too, knowing it was going to a good cause.

By the end of the morning, I’d sold nearly everything and including online donations we had raised £400. Other people made donations directly to charities, so the real total was more. It was an incredibly rewarding thing to do and I hope to do it again.

After the sale I realised I had another tray of courgettes and more tomato plants, so I’ve been finding new homes for these too. Some of them will go to one of the gardening and health projects the QNI is supporting along with the National Garden Scheme and will be planted in nursing home gardens in north London.’

Donations

British-Ukrainian Aid, £200

International Council of Nurses Humanitarian Fund, £100

Poland Welcomes (a small charity for refugees in Poland), £100.

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