FUNDRAISING can be a tough nut to crack – unless you have helpers like Peter Nutter.

The volunteer furniture restorer with St Teresa’s Hospice is donating his delicious crop of walnuts, from a tree he grew from a seed 18 years ago, as a parting gift before retiring for good.

“It has been a brilliant crop this year – around nine boxes – which I’m giving to St T’s in Darlington to sell to raise money for the hospice,” said Peter, who is about to retire to the Isle of Wight with his wife Beryl from his current home in Caldwell, near Richmond.

“I spotted what looked like plums on the verge when walking with my daughter. I’d never seen walnuts in the seed pod before and wondered what they were. I planted one in a pot then in the garden when we moved here in 2001 and it started to crop about five years ago.”

Since then he has been sharing them with hospice staff and friends bringing them into St T’s restoration workshops in McMullen Road, Darlington.

He agreed to harvest and donate the latest crop, before he moves out of his Caldwell home, which the superstore will box and sell to customers.

“I have loved renovating furniture for the hospice, which does such an amazing job for the people of Darlington, South Durham and North Yorkshire,” he said.

“It’s great to be able to share with everyone the fruits of the tree – which is also the hospice’s logo.”

St Teresa’s Hospice head of retail Marjorie McIntyre said: “The nuts really are delicious and it is typical of Peter to think of us with this parting gift.

“He has made such an incredible contribution as a volunteer in our furniture refurbishment department and will be sorely missed. We all wish him good look as he puts down new roots in his retirement.”