A GARDEN centre is giving people the opportunity to support a special needs school when they buy their Christmas decorations.

Up Country Garden and Country Store in Lewes Road, near Haywards Heath, launched their hope tree which has a selection of baubles which cost £1.69 per decoration.

One pound of each sale goes to Chailey Heritage Foundation, a special needs school and charity in East Sussex, which supports young people with complex disabilities.

The school, which was established in 1903, mostly helps youngsters with severe cerebral palsy, all students are wheelchair users and very few have verbal communication.

Megan Kidger, marketing manager for Up Country, said their hope tree is a new idea and hopefully can raise important funds for Chailey Heritage.

She said: “So the baubles cost £1.69 and one pound goes to the charity. The idea came out of Covid, so the rainbow and hope which is why it is designed in rainbow colours.

The Argus: Left is Cindy and right is Alice who both work at the garden centreLeft is Cindy and right is Alice who both work at the garden centre

“We buy them in from a supplier, so the 69p just covers the cost for us. It was Jason and Nick’s idea, they are the managers at Up Country.

The garden centre will finish fundraising on Christmas Eve and announce the money raised after that.

Megan added: “They are always very grateful every year. They bring their students up who love the displays.

Up Country Garden Centre says it tries to offer something “unique” by having a wide range of garden products, a pets and equine section, farm shop and café.

The business also prides itself on its yearly Christmas displays and a free steam train to keep the children entertained.

The Argus: Their Santa's grottoTheir Santa's grotto

Megan added that decorations and products can also be ordered online for delivery, a new feature which the garden centre is trying.

Money raised will help towards the school’s aim in maximising students’ independence and choice, developing effective communication and providing powered mobility opportunities.

For more information on Up Country’s Christmas bauble idea, visit their website.

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