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July 31 2016.

The 5th annual Macmillan Coastal Garden Trail got off to a windy start at trail organiser, Geoff Stonebanks's garden, Driftwood in Seaford on Saturday  the 9th of July.

Tom, Carter, Area Fundraising Manager for the charity, was on hand with wife Hannah and his two young daughters. He said: ‘I was delighted to be able to visit Geoff’s wonderful Garden once again for the opening of the ever-expanding trail. To think that the event has raised nearly £40,000 over the last five years is just incredible and has helped ensure Macmillan will be able to reach and support hundreds of more local people affected by cancer through the new Centre.’

Local Lewes MP, Maria Caulfield was there for the official opening and shared the ribbon cutting with Mayor of Seaford Cllr. Lindsay Freeman.

Following the event, Maria said: “It was a real pleasure to take part in this year’s Macmillan Garden Trail, which was again expertly organised by Geoff Stonebanks. I couldn’t think of many better ways to spend a Saturday in Sussex than by visiting some of the County's most spectacular gardens, particularly with this fantastic event raising thousands of pounds for the Macmillan Horizon Centre. I would personally like to thank all of those involved in organising this fantastic event, including those who kindly opened their gardens to the public, which I fully appreciate often involves a tremendous amount of effort.”

While the weather was dry, if a little cool, the same could not be said for Sunday. Whilst it did not rain as heavily as it did on the Sunday in 2015, there was light drizzle and it was very cool. There were some intrepid visitors and then a real rush after 3.00pm when the rain stopped.

The event was extremely well supported by the Mayors along the trail, who all showed great interest in the gardens on show. Many gardens were offering cream teas or homemade tea and cake and much was consumed over the two days.

Geoff Stonebanks had wanted to hit £10000 over the weekend, but the weather prevented that. Geoff was still amazed that £5300 was raised, despite the poor weather. All monies will go to the new Macmillan Horizon Centre, scheduled to open in Brighton later this year.

After learning of the amount raised, Sarah Coxhill, Senior Sussex Fundraising Manager, said to Geoff: " We think this is a fantastic result, and what incredible press coverage, proving again that not only the money raised, but a large proportion of awareness of Macmillan and specifically the Horizon Centre at the forefront of Sussex media is down to you. Huge thanks, on behalf of Macmillan, for your continued support, enthusiasm, hard work and commitment. We understand the amount of drive that goes into getting this together and delivering such an outstanding weekend for all the visitors."

Anyone wanting to catch up with news on the event can go to