Our speaker this week was Mark Elling from The Lewis Manning Trust, who came to tell us about the Open Gardens scheme.
Lewis Manning was opened in 1992, originally in the house of the late Marjorie Lewis-Manning, a local business woman, who left it to three trustees to establish a day hospice. A facility for the public, it provides help to people suffering from cancer, as well as offering physiotherapy and better breathing clinics. As the trust has grown, it outgrew the original house and additional facilities have been added to the original site, which has an inpatient unit as well as welcoming outpatients.
It is free to patients and always will be, thanks to the deeds under which it was set up, but it is hugely expensive to run and only receives a small amount of income from the NHS.
The idea of Open Gardens is to ask people with really interesting gardens to open them to the public, and donate money which generates income for Lewis Manning. Currently there are five gardens in Studland that have signed up to the scheme, but more are needed. Promotion would be done on social media in the main, to reduce expensive printing costs, and the trust will also assist with insurance.
On behalf of the club, Rotarian David Pike thanked Mark for coming over from Salisbury to speak to us.