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Monty Don “stunned” at generosity of Eden-Rose Coppice Trust’s Ipswich volunteers

12:01 17 February 2017

Eden-Rose Coppice Trust founders Jo and Rob Brooks with Monty Don at the Ipswich woodland retreat where the episode of Big Dreams Small Spaces was filmed. Picture: LION TV

Eden-Rose Coppice Trust founders Jo and Rob Brooks with Monty Don at the Ipswich woodland retreat where the episode of Big Dreams Small Spaces was filmed. Picture: LION TV

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The generosity of volunteers at a Suffolk charity helping people with terminal illnesses has left television presenter Monty Don “stunned”.

Sam Chamberlin with Amy Ditheridge, Naomi Snook and Richard Hubbard and his support worker, Megan Baily, Angela Brown from Waitrose. Picture: SEANA HUGHESSam Chamberlin with Amy Ditheridge, Naomi Snook and Richard Hubbard and his support worker, Megan Baily, Angela Brown from Waitrose. Picture: SEANA HUGHES

The gardening expert recently visited the Eden-Rose Coppice Trust’s Ipswich site to help the team create a terraced allotment in just three months for his programme Big Dreams Small Spaces.

“Genuinely, on the television when he said ‘I’m stunned you’ve done it’ he really was stunned,” said Rob Brooks, who founded the charity after surviving a cancer diagnosis.

“He visited two or three times. When he first came in he said ‘you genuinely won’t do it, it’s impossible’.

“On the reveal day his mouth fell open when he walked through the main door. It was the generosity of the people of Ipswich and giving up their time.”

Sam Chamberlin with Amy Ditheridge, Naomi Snook and Richard Hubbard and his support worker, Megan Baily, Angela Brown from Waitrose. Picture: SEANA HUGHESSam Chamberlin with Amy Ditheridge, Naomi Snook and Richard Hubbard and his support worker, Megan Baily, Angela Brown from Waitrose. Picture: SEANA HUGHES

The finished project is probably worth around £30,000, yet less than £3,000 was spent.

Rob thanked all the helpers who gave their time, including a man who turned up with a digger on a day off to help out.

The charity was set up to provide restorative outdoor environments for people.

Rob says medical evidence shows many of the most effective settings for recovering from fatigue or illness involve the natural environment.

He first created the Eden Rose-Coppice retreat in Sudbury’s Quay Lane and now, along with daughter Jo, is transforming the Brickmakers’ Wood site in Ipswich.

It is a busy time for the charity, which is now looking to raise £15,000 to help transform the urban woodland in Ipswich.

It is part of the complete overhaul of the Brickmakers’ Woodland site and regenerate it for the community.

A new heritage orchard has also been planted at its Quay Lane site.

The trust’s Sam Chamberlin was helped by volunteers from Gainsborough’s House to plant the trees, which came from Dedham Vale’s scattered orchard project.

Around £480 was raised with Waitrose collections to fund the project.

“It’s coming on really well,” said Sam. “Having the involvement from Gainsborough’s House and the vulnerable adults was really rewarding.”

For more information on the project, visit the crowdfunding page www.crowdfunder.co.uk/brickmakerswood

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