CHERRY grower Maureen Campbell devised a fruity way to raise money for a good cause.

The care worker was so struck by the plight of a nursing home in India that she decided the time was ‘ripe’ to sell her fruit and support it.

The 50-year-old from Greenfield raised more than £100 for the Stree Seva Mandir Home for the Aged in Chennai, India, by selling bags of cherries to family and friends.

Her donation will pay for equipment and toiletries for the home.

The unusual story began on Facebook.

Maureen explained: “I befriended an Indian photographer on Facebook called Lakshman Iyer, who posted a picture of an old people’s home.

“The picture really touched me because they didn’t have any cups or anything.

“It showed a lack of dignity for the old people.

“There were potties underneath the bed but there was no privacy when they used them.

“People were lying on their beds in a row and all their belongings were on their beds or underneath them. I work with the elderly so I really understand their needs. I desperately wanted to help them.”

Maureen, who also grows potatoes and tomatoes came up with a cunning plan to help the residents.

“I have been growing fruit and veg for nearly 10 years,” she said.

“I have cherry, apple, plum and pear trees and I love them because they keep me busy.

“I used to give my cherries away but this year I thought I would sell them to raise money.

“Family and friends were buying a bag of cherries for £2 each and the money began to add up.”

To help her on her quest, Maureen’s Facebook friend sent some original paintings in the post for her to sell and raise extra funds.

Maureen, supported by son David, 25, and partner Jody Sargeant, 24, posted her donation before Christmas and says she is pleased with the fruits of her labour.

She added: “I had a message from my friend who said everybody was really grateful for my help.

“I know it wasn’t a huge amount but I think it will go a long way in India. I’m just glad I could do a little bit.”