A GARDEN centre has celebrated raising more than £21,000 for its chosen charities.

Perrywood Garden Centre, based in Tiptree, presented cheques to the Colchester and Ipswich Hospitals Charity, Kids Inspire and Greenfingers Charity.

Staff hosted afternoon tea parties, quiz nights and a Christmas jumper day to raise the funds throughout 2019, totalling £21,050.

They also took part in the Colchester Half Marathon and the Walk for Wards in Felixstowe.

One staff member even took on a 100km trek across the Sahara Desert.

Spokesman Hannah Powell said: “We are extremely proud of all of our team’s fundraising efforts and we couldn’t thank our customers enough who have also played an important part in this achievement.

“We are delighted to be supporting Kids Inspire, Colchester and Ipswich Hospitals Charity and Greenfingers Charity once again in 2020 and we look forward to making a difference to these organisations throughout the year.”

Instead of receiving tips, the coffee shop and restaurant team chose to give any donations to Colchester Hospital through the hospital charity.

In March, the team donated £1,000 to buy a year’s supply of dominoes, playing cards, colouring pens, white boards and photo albums for dementia patients.

In June, £1,500 was donated to the children’s ward to buy a games table and other activity equipment.

In September, two children’s cardiac recording machines costing £2,600 were purchased.

Finally, over the festive season, the coffee shop and restaurant team raised a further £1,540 to buy presents for patients at Colchester Hospital.

On top of this activity, Perrywood has also donated more than £8,000 worth of plants, gardening equipment and gift vouchers to local schools and individuals.

The centre’s next fundraiser is the Greenfingers charity quiz night on March 12.