Romford gardener leaping with joy at big win

Jonathon Smith, Adam Woolcott, present cheque to winner James Sheppard and his daughter Ann Sheppard

Jonathon Smith, Adam Woolcott, present cheque to winner James Sheppard and his daughter Ann Sheppard - Credit: Archant

February 29 saw a keen gardener leaping for joy after he won £8,000 in a charity raffle.

James Sheppard, 84, of Romford, won first prize in Saint Francis Hospice’s winter raffle and was presented with a cheque by award winning garden designers Jon Smith and Adam Woolcott.

“I am still in shock,” said James.

“My wife and I supported the hospice for many years because it provides great care for people who really need it.

“I am on my own now and I think the hospice is important as it is a place people like me may need one day.”

James, a former manager at the Port of London, has been devoted to his garden since retiring more than 30 years ago.

He said: “I love everything about gardening and I am lucky enough to have a lovely garden.”

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Jon and Adam presented James with his cheque after visiting the hospice in Broxhill Road, Havering-atte-Bower, for the third time.

The pair have one gold at the Chelsea Flower Show for three consecutive years and run design company Woolcott and Smith.

Adam said: “The work you do at the hospice is so critical and none of us know if we are going to need it.

“There are so many interesting flowers, plants and trees and the grounds have a very therapeutic feel to them.”

Justine Burrows, head of individual giving and data, fundraising and marketing at the hospice, added, ”Congratulations to James on winning this fantastic prize.

“By buying a ticket for the winter raffle James has supported one of our fundraising initiatives to help ensure we can continue providing excellent care and support to people affected by life limiting illnesses.

“We would also like to say a big thank you to Jon Smith and Adam Woolcott for taking time out to visit the hospice and for making the event even more special for James.”

For more information about Saint Francis Hospice go to

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