Reflections, and resolutions


At Thorngrove this year, the team have been building you memories – you just need to come along and make them, says Kelsi-Dean Buck

Wreath workshops at Thorngrove

As we enter 2023 we’re feeling a little tired from all the Christmas season’s events, but we’re also feeling rejuvenated. December saw our biggest Christmas ever in terms of hosting events for the community, and our continued push to be more than ‘just a garden centre’, striving to become a place where people can make memories.
Our wreath workshops were the most attended ever, including the final session which welcomed Gillingham Town Mayor Sharon Cullingford. We received some of the most glowing feedback on the workshops and it really made the team effort feel all the more worthwhile. Some people who attended had never tried these sorts of crafts and they went away with a beautiful creation they were rightly proud of. Making our workshops accessible to people of all levels is so important to us, and we look forward to hosting similar events throughout the coming year.
Father Christmas stopped by for four different weekends in our hand decorated Grotto! EmployMyAbility (EMA) students and service users were also involved in the dressing of the grotto (including the amazing hand-made snowman!). We welcomed families from the local area and further afield, doing our best to spread Christmas joy, give out gifts, hot chocolate, and be that location for memories that will last longer than a festive season. This was Thorngrove’s first proper attempt at a ‘home grown’ grotto and we hope to go even bigger for next Christmas!

A new experience
The Fairytale Forest experience with Angel Exit Theatre was another of our Christmas offerings, and something new to us which we were excited to try. This free event was attended by over 1,600 people over the few days, and could not have happened without the creative flair from Lynne and Tamsin and everyone involved with Angel Exit, along with the enthusiasm and support from our staff here at Thorngrove and EMA.
As with the grotto, students and service users were a big part of getting things set up and running smoothly – and yet again the finished experience was a testament to the resolve from everyone behind the scenes. We can’t wait to do more like it in the future.

More than 1,600 people attended the Fairytale Forest experience with Angel Exit Theatre in December

Come with us!
As we continue to work towards being a community cornerstone, 2023 will mean more events, trying new things, and of course delivering products and experiences that you may not expect. From everyone here at Thorngrove Garden Centre, the retail team, the café, and our Employ My Ability staff, we hope you’ll continue to come along for our journey. Happy New Year!


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