When the team at Thompson & Morgan saw the story of 79 year old gardening pensioner, Ray Winsley, in a Daily Mail article, they immediately put out an appeal on social media to find Ray and to offer him some horticultural help. Ray’s beautiful garden, which had won the Bath in Bloom competition, had been devastated by vandals who poured weedkiller over plants in beds and pots, over his lawn and even into his waterbutt.
T&M; Horticultural Director, Paul Hansord said, “Everyone who takes pride in their garden would be horrified at what has happened to Mr Winsley. He wasn’t one of our customers, but we felt so sorry for him; the pictures of his garden before the vandalism showed how much hard work he had put in. We wanted to find him and see if we could help in any way”.
The hashtag #findray brought a huge response from people via Twitter and Facebook with many useful suggestions and also with personal offers of help for Ray. After only a couple of days, the social media team had been informed of Ray’s address in Bishop Sutton, near Bath. They duly sent £250 worth of Thompson & Morgan vouchers off to Ray with best wishes for a full garden recovery.
Last week, Ray telephoned T&M; to express his heartfelt thanks. Receptionist, Cindy Robinson, took his call. “Ray said that he had just received the vouchers through the post. He wanted to thank us for the kind gesture and said that he was very grateful. He commented that he hadn’t heard anything from the company that he usually uses for his garden and that he will be using Thompson & Morgan in the future. At the end of the call, Ray thanked us again and I just said that we hoped that he could put the vouchers to good use to rebuild his garden. I felt quite emotional after the call as he seemed so genuinely chuffed!”
In addition to receiving £250 worth of vouchers from Thompson & Morgan, a crowd funding page on www.justgiving.com has been set up to raise money to help Ray repair his garden. The fund stands at £282 so far.
“We’re all rooting for Ray”, commented Wendie Alexander from T&M;’s social media team. “We’re really hoping our vouchers and his Justgiving fund will mean Ray can restore his garden to its former glory and win next year’s Bath in Bloom competition”.