Lockdown idea grows into huge success for Woodford's David

He's been named a Rose of Northamptonshire

Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 7:33 pm
David Woods has been selling plants to raise money for the NHS.

A Woodford man has raised thousands of pounds for the NHS after his plant-selling idea blossomed into a year-long success.

David Woods, 63, first started selling plants outside his house in the first national lockdown, with those in the village near Thrapston paying for his blooms using an honesty box.

Fast-forward a year and not only is he still selling them but he's raised almost £5,000 - and he's recently been named a Rose of Northamptonshire.

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David has been selling plants at the end of his driveway.

He said: "I thought it would be nice for the community - everybody has struggled a bit and I wanted to give something back.

"It's been getting the community involved and has got quite a few people interested in gardening."

The keen gardener, who has multiple sclerosis, has been shielding for much of the year and tends to plants to keep himself active.

Each day he takes to his Facebook group to let people know what he'll be selling outside his Thrapston Road home, near the village's medical centre.

David's sister Sally made seasonal wreaths to give the fundraising a boost.

He's grown plants from seeds and bulbs and has sold everything ranging from water lilies to tomatoes and broad beans to hanging baskets, with one of his specialities being bunches of fresh cut sweet peas.

Locals have supplied him with pots, trays and even compost, and David also uses his page to showcase progress photos and videos from the greenhouses, weekend photo competitions and all sorts of gardening tips and advice.

But David, who has lived in Woodford since 1987, had no idea how successful and rewarding his project would be.

He set a target of £2,500 last year and has now raised more than £4,750.

His efforts were boosted after his sister, Sally Reynolds, made more than 50 season wreaths at the end of 2020 and added £750 to his running total.

David, a former head of facilities at Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon, has now increased his target to £10,000.

He said: "It's all going towards looking after people affected by Covid-19 and giving back to the NHS.

"I think that's why a lot of people have donated because we all need them."

David's efforts have seen him named a Rose of Northamptonshire as part of an awards scheme designed by Northamptonshire County Council and its leader, as well as the formal institutions of the High Sheriff's office and Lord Lieutenancy, to recognise those across the county who have committed themselves to response and relief efforts since the beginning of the outbreak.

The awards seek to highlight those in every sector and locality of the county that have played a key role.

David added: "It feels good to get the recognition for all of the hard work."

To donate to his cause, visit the fundraising page here.