A BLOOMING popular event has raised more than £4,000 for Weymouth Foodbank.

The Open Gardens event held in Upwey, Weymouth raised the funds upon its return after a two-year absence.

Organisers the Upwey Society decided beforehand that this year’s proceeds should go to Weymouth Foodbank.

Some 29 gardens were open over the weekend of June 26 and 27 and more than 500 visitors enjoyed strolling through them, taking in the variety of designs and planting; stopping for teas, cakes and ice-creams.

Eve Price, president of the Upwey Society handed a cheque for £4,005 to Ruth Peers, who runs the Littlemoor outlet of Weymouth Foodbank.

Jean-Paul Dervley, chairman of the foodbank said: “We are so grateful to the organisers of Upwey Open Gardens for their support for Weymouth Foodbank.

"The cost of living crisis is having a major impact on us. We have seen a large increase in the number of clients needing help.

"In the five months to May 2022 we helped 3082 individuals compared with 1977 for the equivalent period in 2021. This is an increase of over 50 per cent.

"As each food parcel is intended to feed someone for three days, this equates to nearly 28,000 meals.

"Much of this increase came in the Littlemoor area, which I know was of particular concern to the Upwey Open Gardens organisers."

Mr Dervley said the increase in demand comes at a time when the charity has seen 'a slight decline' in the food donated in supermarket trollies.

He said: "Fortunately the level of giving from individuals, companies and voluntary bodies like Upwey Open Gardens have increased. This has allowed us to buy food required to meet the need.”

Eve Price added: “I am absolutely delighted that our event was such a success this year. The fantastic turnout meant that we raised an unprecedented sum – and for such an essential cause while rising fuel and food prices will have an even more devastating impact on many local people. "We are delighted to be able to support the important work that Weymouth Foodbank does.”