The Lavender Ladies, from Chalfont St Peter, have raised a total of £1,000 for Thames Valley Adventure Playground in Taplow.
They are property owners at Audley Chalfont Dene, the luxury retirement village in the village, and achieved the grand total by selling handcrafted lavender based products.
Verena Closs (74), Jacki Crittenden (72), and Audrey Marland (91) — The Lavender Ladies — are members of the Audley Chalfont Dene craft club which formed when the village opened.
However, what started as a hobby soon became an opportunity to give back. The ladies had the idea to harvest the lavender bushes which bloom through the summer at the village and make cards, lavender bags, beeswax candles, and bookmarks to sell to friends, family, and fellow owners.
All the profits were donated to the Thames Valley Adventure Playground, which aims to create a safe, stimulating but fun environment where children and adults with special needs can play.
Due to COVID-19, 2020 has been a difficult year for the adventure playground. The lockdowns made it difficult for them to support the service they offer, therefore, the donation was much appreciated.
The ladies presented the cheque to donations manager, Reama, from Thames Valley Adventure.
Verena Closs said: “We started a craft club after the village first opened but a few of us don’t pride ourselves on our knitting or crocheting skills.
“So, we had a think about what else we could do. Through the summer months, the village grounds are filled with beautiful lavender plants. Instead of letting it all go to waste, we picked the lavender, dried it in our own homes, and made lavender pouches to raise money for a local charity.
“We now make cards, bookmarks, lavender pouches, and beeswax candles. It wasn’t until our allotment day in the summer that someone named us the lavender ladies. It has stuck now, and we like it. It’s so much fun and we’re already planning what we can make in the summer.”
When asked what pushes her to do this, Verena said: “We’re in a retirement village, we have all been in business all our lives, and I don’t see how we can just sit here and watch television all day, we just try to occupy ourselves without going crazy in lockdown.”
Nick Vincent, general manager, Audley Chalfont Dene said: “Charity initiatives are more important than ever before as we consider how COVID-19 has impacted local charities. It is great to see our owners rallying together and using their skills to make a positive impact for those who need it.
“The Lavender Ladies embody the sense of community we have at Audley Chalfont Dene and we are so proud of the work that they have accomplished.”