Julia Gregory sells garden gnomes as a fundraiser for Tamworth palliative care

FUNDRAISER: Julia and Anne Gregory are selling the gnomes to raise money for the Tamworth Palliative Care Unit. Photo: Peter Hardin 090118PHB006
FUNDRAISER: Julia and Anne Gregory are selling the gnomes to raise money for the Tamworth Palliative Care Unit. Photo: Peter Hardin 090118PHB006

Julia Gregory’s Tamworth home is well-known for its front garden filled with colourful ornaments.

But the local grandmother is now offloading some of her precious collectibles in aid of something more important. 

The almost 90-year-old says she’s selling some of her gnomes to raise money for the Tamworth Hospital palliative care unit.

It’s a cause she is passionate about because the staff there cared for her grandson Gregory until he died of pancreatic cancer in March last year.

For $10 each, Mrs Gregory said she has about 50 of the gnomes left to sell and hopes they all go to good homes.

The collection started in 1972 when she was gifted with a set of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs gnomes by her husband.

If I can do something to help someone else, I’d be doing the right thing.

Julia Gregory

From there the number grew to about 400 and she said her front yard was quite the spectacle for those walking past, in particular during the Tamworth Country Music Festival.

Sadly, many of her collectibles were destroyed in a freak storm last year. 

Mrs Gregory said she decided to sell the gnomes when she was asked by her children what would happen to them when she, too, would pass away.

“I wanted to see someone look after them and I also wanted to do something good for somebody.

“I was in bed one night along and thought I wanted to do something good for my grand son.”

Mrs Gregory said she has made about $450 from the sale of the gnomes so far through “word of mouth” and hoped further publicity could help the fundraising efforts.

”I had to paint them all first,” she said.

“I started it all about six months ago, I got them all painted and set them up on a stand for people to have a look at.

“I've got 50 out there now ready to sell.”

Mrs Gregory said she hoped the money raised, no matter how big or small, would make some difference to the cause and the great work the staff at the unit do.

“They can do whatever they want with it,” she said.

“I just wanted to raise money for them to try and improve things.

“If I can do something to help someone else, I’d be doing the right thing.

“There’s a lot of people supporting me.” 

Mrs Gregory said she wanted to thank her daughter Anne and Greg’s partner Debbie for their help in spreading the word about the cause.

Anyone who is interesting in supporting the fundraiser and buying a garden gnome can contact Mrs Gregory on 6766 7767.