HOW OUR VOLUNTEERS AND SUPPORTERS HELPED BROGDALE SURVIVE 2020
Although we are still living in uncertain times, we thought it would be heartening if we shared some positive news and warm wishes.
Brogdale would like to say a massive thank you to our staff, volunteers, supporters, visitors and customers who have all played a role in helping the charity survive the last six months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We were was left reeling after lockdown was originally announced as we were forced to cancel all planned festivals and events throughout the year – which create 80% of Brogdale Collection’s income. This problem was compounded by an enormous loss of funding from trusts and legacies, who have been directing their support to COVID-19 causes.
With industry experts predicting that 1 in 10 charities will close by the end of this year, the team at Brogdale are understandably very relieved that they are managing to keep their heads above the water.
The challenges of 2020
Operations Manager, Sara Smile, says: “We had to think very fast on our feet and adapt to create income without being able to hold our very popular annual events, such as Cider Festival and the cherry blossom festival Hanami. The timing of lockdown coincided with the Collections taking over the management of acres of heritage orchards, which enabled us to harvest and sell thousands of kilos of beautiful cherries, pears, plums and apples. This has created a wonderful and unexpected benefit to the public, who have been able to buy rare and unusual heritage fruit, not previously available for sale.
“We couldn’t have done this without our wonderful volunteers who have played a vital role in ensuring the charity’s survival. They have helped tirelessly by picking fruit (sometimes in the pouring rain), making boxes, pruning trees, weeding gardens and helping with our events. We could not have managed without them. A huge thank you also to the public, our partners, supporters and visitors who have attended workshops, joined in with our events and purchased our fruit. Because of all these people, Brogdale Collections stands a chance of surviving.”
Still welcoming visitors with our Heritage Orchard Days
Another initiative we’ve taken is to allow extra access to the heritage orchards by holding a series of Heritage Orchard Days. These COVID-compliant events enabled visitors to visit the orchards, learn about the fruit and trees and most importantly harvest their own rare and heritage fruit – the first time this has been possible.
We are a charity!
Brogdale is home to the largest collection of temperate fruits in the world and is an essential source of knowledge and information about the nation’s fruits. Brogdale Collections is a charity which facilities the sharing of this information and access to the Collections – all of which would be lost if the charity should fold.
Anyone wishing to support Brogdale Collections can help by purchasing places on their programme of courses – either for themselves or as gifts for friends and family. Also, by purchasing a £13.50 Orchard Pass, anyone can have year-round access to the orchards whilst also helping provide essential income for the charity.
Click here for orchard pass details
Click here for details of our courses