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I was just wondering if anyone contacted shops or garden centres etc for donations when working on projects. I'm working on a project to our garden up but I have limited budget. I was thinking of emailing or phoning local shops to ask if they would consider giving donations or selling us damaged goods at a reduced rate. I don't want to sound like I am begging but I thought I might get something and make my budget go further. Has anyone tried this and did it work?

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yes i do it all the time ( we are a not for profit charity!!) we asked a local garden centre and they gave us all the suitable plants they had left from the previous year...about £400 worth!!! as i always say there are only two answers....i rarely get a knock back but if i do that's fine. Family businessess are a better option than corporates and face to face contact is always best.

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I used to do it all the time,managed to get a good response most of the time.. our local B&Q though were less than helpful, and gave me loads of paperwork to fill in and we never heard back..

Local is best and I found that by offering to advertise them in the setting worked wonders.. we had a noticeboard for local adverts and put people who donated on there as well as reciprocal advertising...they advertise us and we do the same in return.. was a good way of free promotion for us and local providers..

If work is needed we contacted the local community service people.. and had the setting decorated by them one weekend, and some ground cleared for a garden another one..

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I used to visit them direct... and ask for manager or owner.. if they were not there I would then leave a letter I had taken with me explaining what we were doing, why we needed help , offer to advertise and a contact number that could be reached any time.. we had a basic work payg mobile I carried so I could be reached. Many of the local firms rang be.. less so the bigger companies.

The community service people I had a chairperson who found the number for me... think she went via the town hall.. but we did have a local office I could walk into . Probably depends on the area..

Princes Trust also offer help in some areas.. they did here but must admit the youth club used them to decorate their hall and they left it in a horrid mess.. half done, poorly finished and needed redoing. Probably just the lot we had at the time .

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My dad has a couple of little sayings 'If you don't ask, you don't get' and 'The squeaking gate gets the oil' :D

Homebase did our garden, they supplied all the materials and the man power and gave us £500 gift card to use too.

Yesterday our manager was on the local radio asking for help getting a coach to take the children to a farm about 10 miles away. We'd been quoted £250!

Den Caney Coaches got in touch straight away and are taking us and Weird and Wonderful got in touch and are going to bring some animals in. All they ask is we publicise them :D

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