7 June 2021

Dame Esther Rantzen DBE is inviting members of the public to purchase VIP tickets to join her in celebrating her 80th birthday at a special event this summer at Furzey Gardens in Hampshire.

The TV presenter, journalist and charity campaigner is holding the event on the afternoon of Sunday 27 June to help local charity Minstead Trust to continue supporting people with learning disabilities, in the uniquely beautiful setting of their woodland garden.

Dame Esther had to postpone her 80th birthday celebrations last year due to Covid-19 and is now looking forward to sharing the special day with invited VIP guests. A limited number of members of the public can join the other guests at this exclusive event to take afternoon tea, wander together along winding and meandering paths, play in the playground, and listen to the music provided by the Michelmersh Silver Band.

The location for the milestone birthday party is Furzey Gardens, a tranquil woodland garden nestled deep in the New Forest National Park. The gardens are run by Minstead Trust and provide support and work experience for people with learning disabilities. Guests at the event will have the opportunity to meet Dame Esther, as well as people supported by the Trust, and the Head Gardener, Pete White.

Dame Esther said: ‘Although I myself have been a close neighbour of Furzey’s for thirty years, I have only recently discovered and explored the beauty of the gardens here, and have learned about the unique opportunities they offer adults with learning disabilities.

‘Minstead Trust is the charity which runs the gardens, and I’m hoping this special birthday tea party will be one of the happiest and most memorable Sunday afternoons of this very challenging year.’

The birthday event starts at 3.30pm on 27 June, Covid restrictions allowing. Tickets are very limited and can be purchased from www.minsteadtrust.org.uk/dame-esther. Adult tickets are £25, children over five are £12.50 and a family is £74.

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