Couple’s petal power pays off
A GREEN-fingered city couple have used flower power to raise a blooming marvellous £10,000 for the children’s charity which helped their young granddaughter.
Maureen and Ray Cousins, from Netherton, have hosted grand garden parties at their home in Atherstone Avenue for the past 10 years to raise cash for the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF).
The charity has supported the couple’s family ever since their granddaughter Sally Bird (15) was diagnosed with a life-threatening liver disease.
Sally had to have a life-saving liver transplant when she was just nine months old, but due to the effects of the disease and transplant, she will need to undergo medical checks and treatment – including the possibility of future operations – for the rest of her life.
Mr and Mrs Cousins say the support the CLDF give Sally, her 10-year-old sister Ellie and parents, John and Sue, has made a huge difference.
Mrs Cousins said: “It’s such a worthy cause and helps Sally and her family whenever they need it. I know, for example, that it will help Sally when she progresses from paediatric to adult liver services in a few years’ time.”
The couple have held at least one plant sale each year, selling plants, cakes and home-made jams and preserves.
They hosted their last garden sale on May 22 but are now hanging up their trowels and ending the parties after a decade of floral fundraising.
Mrs Cousins said this time they hoped to raise more money for CLDF than ever before, particularly as the charity is celebrating its 30th birthday.
She added: “Last year, we raised £1700, so it is absolutely marvellous that we managed to beat that with £1,800.”
Although there will be no more plant sales, Mr and Mrs Cousins will continue to support the CLDF.
Mrs Cousins said: “Ray and I will definitely be carrying on our fund-raising for CLDF. Ray will continue to sell his hanging baskets and homemade jams and preserves will be sold at local clubs, in- cluding Netherton Women’s Federation, which has been a great supporter over the years.”
Chief executive of CLDF, Catherine Arkley, praised the couple as “stalwart supporters” and thanked them for their hard work and dedication.
She added: “Their plant sale and tea are incredibly well supported and I’m sure that many locals will miss it, but fully understand that it involves a huge amount of work.
“Sally is one of our growing group of teenagers and young adults who are living life to the full, despite devastating setbacks to their health.
“Supporting them by providing tailored young people’s services, such as a dedicated website, cldf-focus.org and plenty of opportunities to share their experiences, is vital to ensure they reach their full potential in life.”
BLOOMING MARVELLOUS: Sally Bird (second left) with (from left) mum Susan Bird, grandmother Maureen Cousins, sister Ellie Bird, dad John Bird and grandfather Ray Cousins at the final fundraising plant sale in Atherstone Avenue.