Community review of 2019
As an independent, family run company we feel it is incredibly important to give back to the local community. Here is a summary of the work we have done in 2019 with local charities and schools.
Nightingale House Hospice
In 2007 Joan Bellis decided it would be appropriate to concentrate our charity fundraising on Nightingale House Hospice in Wrexham. Since then we have worked in association with this wonderful charity and have helped raise an incredible £134,542.95.
Our grand total for 2019 was £11,231.53. This money was raised through events such as the Easter Chick Hunt, Dog Show and Family Fun Day, Christmas Launch Night, Santa’s Grotto and Breakfast with Santa. Bellis’ donate all of the grotto gifts so that every penny goes to the hospice. This money helps the hospice to continue providing specialist palliative care for patients and their families. We would like to thank all of our customers for their support.
Age Connect North East Wales Bingo Evening
In September we organised a fun ‘Bingo Evening’ in our Strawberry Fields Restaurant with the team from our local Age Connect. The event was a sell out and £1,423 was raised. As a result of our links with Age Connect we decided to set up Bellis’ Coffee Club.
Bellis’ Coffee Club
Bellis’ Coffee Club had its first birthday in October 2019 and the group continues to grow. It is a chance to meet up with people regularly for a coffee and catch up. No booking is required, just turn up on Thursday’s from 9.30am to 10.30am in the Strawberry Fields Restaurant. We sometimes have special guests from external groups join us to give friendly advice and information. A special offer is available for all attendees, £2.50 per person for a hot or cold drink with a toasted teacake or slice of Victoria or Coffee sponge.
Working with Schools
A warm welcome is always offered to our local school children who are interested in learning about farming and growing plants.
The Country Trust
Throughout 2019 you may have noticed groups of children swarming across the fields, occasionally sporting the odd giant carrot or rhubarb leaf umbrella. We have been working in partnership with The Country Trust for a few years now, to deliver Farm Discovery Visits to 90 children from 3 local schools. The Country Trust is a small, dynamic, national education charity dedicated to bringing alive the working countryside for children least able to access it. They work with local volunteer host farms to bring food, farming and the countryside to disadvantaged children. Sharing knowledge, igniting curiosity and broadening horizons.
Holt CP Primary School
In Spring we welcomed Holt reception class to our Garden Centre to plant up their own wellies with pansies. On the evening of our Christmas Launch Night Holt School children also kindly joined us to lead out Santa to start our Christmas celebrations. The children then sang Christmas Carols making sure everyone went away feeling festive! Thank you to all the children involved, they were a credit to the school!
In 2019 we also donated plants, shrubs, trees and benches for the new improved garden area at the entrance to the school.
Farndon Primary School
Last Spring we helped the nursery class plant up some huge tyres and the children’s old wellies. A lovely morning was had by all! We also donated some compost, plants and Spring bulbs to brighten up their outside play area.
Holt Community Gardeners
In 2019 we donated the proceeds from our carrier bag charge to this worthy group. The total donated was £801.57 and this was used towards plants and equipment for ongoing projects.
Cheshire Candles Charity Classic Car Run
This was our second year hosting the start of this event and a wonderful array of classic beauties joined us on the event paddock. They raise over £3500 each year for two local charities. For 2020 we will be the finish for this event, so more time will be available for you to have a look at the wonderful selection of cars on show. They are due to arrive from 2.30pm on Sunday 3rd May.
Movers Shakers Choir
The neurotherapy centre in Saltney near Chester have a choir that is run in association with The Parkinson’s Association. They joined us at Christmas to entertain our customers whilst they shopped by singing festive tunes and did a bucket collection. A remarkable choir who sounded wonderful.
Teenage Cancer Trust
One of our regular customers and neighbour actively supports the Teenage Cancer Trust and has raised a phenomenal amount of money for the charity. Enid Waterfall is an inspiration to us all, tirelessly raising money for this charity and always with a smile on her face and a cheery comment. Enid regularly collects at our tills and raises in excess of £300 every time. Keep up the good work Enid and we look forward to working with you in 2020!
Knit & Knatter Group
Towards the end of 2019 a group of local ladies starting joining us in the Strawberry Fields Restaurant every Thursday morning from 9.30am. They always welcome new members. In December they very kindly agreed to help us decorate our entry for the St. Chad’s Church Christmas Tree competition in Farndon. They knitted an array of fruit and vegetables and the tree looked amazing!
1378 Mold Squadron Air Training Corps (Cadets)
We recently started working with the team at 1378 Mold Squadron, helping create awareness for them and assisting us with our visitor parking at our larger events. A keen and enthusiastic bunch their help was greatly appreciated. A donation was given to them as a ‘thank you’ and we look forward to working with them this year.
Motor Neurone Disease Association North East Wales
Our local MND group held a regular support ‘coffee club’ in the Strawberry Fields Restaurant for those affected in any way by MND. This is usually the first Tuesday of every month and is from 2.30pm until 4pm. For further details please visit https://www.mndnortheastwales.org/support-meetings
In October 2019 the Bellmont Male Voice Choir from Swansea joined us on their way home from a trip to North Wales. This was the second year they have visited and it was a real highlight. Twenty fabulous powerful voices sang a selection of traditional Welsh songs in our restaurant. A real hairs on the back of the neck moment!
Many local groups and charities have joined us to have an awareness table about their group/charity. In 2019 we were joined by: MND Wrexham, Beating Bowel Cancer, Nightingale House Lottery, Woodland Trust, World Wildlife Fund and R.S.P.B. We have also hosted events in our Strawberry Fields Restaurant for the Inner Wheel Club of Wrexham, Erddig and Wrexham Rotary.
Strawberry Fields Restaurant
In February 2019 we entered the North East Wales 2019 Year of Discovery Food Challenge. Our fabulous restaurant team created a dish of four desserts all with a theme relating to Bellis’. We didn’t win this time but we were runners up. Well done team!
We were delighted to be named winners of the Tyfu Cymru awards at the Lantra Cymru awards dinner. The award was for enterprises in horticulture who are committed to learning and development. A wonderful evening celebrating land based industries in Wales.
We were one of the finalists for this years Taste Cheshire Food and Drink Awards in the Local Produce Shop of the Year category, voted for by our customers. We received a bronze award which we were very happy with.
Sue Jones, Bellis’ Plant area assistant was recently awarded the work based horticultural student of the year. She showed an excellent level of dedication, experience and willingness to learn throughout. Well done Sue!
We look forward to an exciting and active 2020 within our community!