I have recently been involved with volunteering at a country house out ‘in the sticks’. It has been an absolute pleasure to attend my watch – the other volunteers are really a great bunch and the property is beautiful. The need for fund raising is constant. This will never end as there is now no family in residence and it is handled by a two pronged trust – one for the house and the other specifically geared for fund raising. This branch hirs out the property and grounds for corporate and public events separate to the house activities – things like country game shows and jousting events – and craft fayres. These are wonderful, colourful functions are popular and it helps that the house is surrounded by famously inspirational gardens. Gifts sourced on a an online gift site offering crafting materials, homewares, toys and all sorts of other ideas is a must these days.