GARDEN centre boss Charlie Groves is saddling up to help in a 247-mile ‘Barathon’.

The Groves garden centre managing director has volunteered to help industry colleagues from Fermoy’s Garden Centre in Sidmouth.

They will be riding a tandem bike 247 miles while pulling along a wheelbarrow full of plants from Newton Abbot to the Chelsea Flower Show.

Charlie will be meeting up with Alan Murdoch, manager of Fermoys at Sidmouth Garden Centre, at around 8am on Friday, May 18. He will then help pedal the tandem-driven wheelbarrow to Weymouth calling at his own garden centre in Bridport at around 11am.

Charlie said: “I received a phone call from Alan a couple of months ago asking if he could call in to our centre on his travels. “I thought it sounded like good fun so offered my services to help him out with the peddling as well.”

Proceeds are in aid of gardening charities Gardening Leave and GreenFingers.

Gardening Leave uses horticultural therapy for ex-service personnel and GreenFingers creates gardens for children’s hospices. The team hope to raise more than £10,000.

Charlie added: “Groves have already raised over £2,000 for GreenFingers charity this year with the help of local schools and this seemed like a nice little extension of that. I just hope the road from Bridport to Weymouth isn’t as hilly as I fear it might be.”

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‘Legendary’ Ruth raises £20k for a range of causes

A BIG-HEARTED pensioner has been described as ‘one in a million’ for her tireless fundraising.

Ruth Hewitt has raised £20,000 for charities including the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and the Lulworth First Responders through sales and raffles.

Now aged 84, she is taking a step back from fundraising due to ill health.

Mrs Hewitt has owned her own holiday home at Durdle Door Holiday Park for 20 years. She loves Dorset and the Purbeck coast and usually arrives on the day the park opens and leaves on the day it closes.

Instead of giving up her second home when she became widowed, Mrs Hewitt channelled her time and love of the area into fundraising.

Since 2000 she has raised money for good causes through her tombolas, raffles and Saturday morning tabletop sales at the holiday park.

For the last five years she has focused on supporting the Lulworth First Responders, a team of volunteers who answer emergency calls on behalf of the ambulance service around the Lulworth and Durdle Door area.

Mrs Hewitt, of Frome in Somerset, said: “It all started when I was given some comics for my foster children.

“They didn’t want them so I put them on the seat outside and asked for a few pennies for them.

“Then people started bringing me stuff which I would sell and give the money to a good cause.

“I didn’t know how much I had raised until the woman in the office who banks all the money for me pointed it out.”

Durdle Door Holiday Park manager Anne MacMorran said: “Ruth is a legend on the park. Other residents have got involved and there’s been a great community spirit here on the park and in the local community where the Lulworth First Responders are really valued.”

Co-ordinator of the Lulworth First Responders Steve Pack said: “This lady is one in a million. Ruth has raised more than £5,000 for the first responders which has helped us buy equipment and keep our vehicle on the road.”

The Lulworth First Responders are looking for volunteers.

To find out more visit the lul