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Margaret Axon raises a quarter of a million for Farleigh Hospice

For over 40 years Margaret Axon has been supporting Farleigh Hospice, raising an incredible £250,000 for the charity. Margaret is a true inspiration, and this is her story.

“I moved to Danbury nearly 40 years ago. When we first moved here, I didn’t know anyone, so I joined a local coffee morning group. It was there we first discussed the need for a hospice in mid Essex. At the time, there was no Farleigh and no support for people who had a life-limiting illness.

I felt very strongly that we needed a hospice. When I was young, my brother died aged 21 years old, we were very close, and it had a huge impact on me. He only received pain relief every four hours, and that wasn’t enough. There was no bereavement support for families, we were just left to get on with it. I was also a nurse and witnessed the need for the right care and pain relief for people who were dying.

To raise money for a new hospice we organised coffee mornings and jumble sales. We would run up to three jumble sales a year, and we use to raise £1,000, which was a lot of money back in the 80’s. Of course, back then there were few charity shops, so jumble sales were really popular.

Then 21 years ago, Silva Bennett came up with the idea of open gardens, which is now an annual event, well known in Danbury. At the time, my garden was awful, but I still joined in! When Silva moved away I took over, and as the years have gone by the event has grown. Gardens across Danbury open their doors and we have plant sales, crafts, and refreshments. Over the years, Open Gardens has raised £110,000.

During the pandemic, we had our first virtual open garden and organised four plant sales. We ensured social distancing with an entrance and exit, one way system, plus two boxes for the donations. In total, we raised £11,400.

I couldn’t do any of this without the support of the local WI and the good people of Danbury. We all come together to support the hospice.

I raise money for Farleigh because they need it, hospices are not fully funded by the government. We started as a small group of young women, and over the past 40 years, we have raised £250,000 for the hospice. Farleigh Hospice provides holistic care and is there for the patient and their family.”