Villagers in Sibbertoft are preparing to open up their gardens for a fifth and final time as the children’s pirate ship they have been raising money for nears completion.
More than £10,000 has been raised by the village’s annual Open Gardens fundraiser since its launch in 2009, with the money going towards a host of charities as well as village causes – including building a children’s pirate ship in the playground complete with a slide, poles and captain’s wheel.
The work has been completed by a small but dedicated team of residents led by the designer and open gardens organiser Mark Bickerstaff.
The majority of the funds for the £3,500 pirate ship project have come from the open gardens, with the costs being kept to a minimum thanks to the generosity of residents providing building materials at discounted rates.
The latest and final Sibbertoft Open Gardens event is taking place next Sunday, July 27.
A total of 13 gardens will be on show, between 11am and 6pm. The Manor in Church Street will also be open.
Villager Lesley Hartshorne, who is part of the organising committee, said: “The open gardens has become a well-loved and respected event thanks to excellent support – it has become a real community event.
“This year is hopefully going to be a bumper year with the added attractions.
“We are nominating 10 national and local charities to benefit from our fundraising this year, including the village’s St Helen’s Church and The Reading Room.”
Lunches, teas and cakes will also be served at four venues during the open gardens, including a children’s tea party.
There will also be a plant sale, cake raffles and a classic car display as well as a children’s art competition to design a garden.
Entry to the open gardens costs £3 for adults, while children’s admission and parking are both free.