At HWPR the team – including Kimberley Hornby and Robbie Cumming – are incredibly proud to have been part of Garden Re-Leaf Day from the very beginning. Kimberley remembers quite vividly when Garden Re-Leaf founder, Boyd Douglas Davies, visited the office back in 2011 to tell us about this great idea he had, and whether we might be able to lend a hand in getting everything off the ground. Little did we know just how big it would all become!
Fast forward six years and we’ve just witnessed the most successful Garden Re-Leaf Day to date, with the event very much feeling a part of the furniture. Spring, for us, is Garden Re-Leaf time. And what a time we’ve had this year – covering both of the main events: the 24hr Plant-athon, and the 20 mile Garden Re-Leaf charity walk.
Orchard Park Garden Centre was the first garden centre to kick off their 24hr Plant-athon, at 12pm noon on the 16th, finishing on Garden Re-Leaf Day itself. Robbie was instrumental in helping to plan and publicise the event, providing support to father Richard – the Managing Director of the centre – as well as assisting with Garden Re-Leaf’s PR and social media. Recounting his experience, Robbie said: “Greenfingers and gardening as a pastime were the focus –but for the planting team it was a pure test of stamina. Richard and Gavin (Cooper, garden centre manager) and myself took it in turns to plant throughout, assisted by other members of staff. Although neither of us were expected to plant solidly for 24 hours, we were all awake for that amount of time. We did manage to have a bit of fun – the barbecue came out, we raided the farm shop for sausages and chocolate cake, and even drank a few cans of Guinness; as this year Garden Re-Leaf shares the date with St Patrick’s Day. We also had the chance to chat about plans for the garden centre, and retailers thoughts on suppliers which was invaluable to me. We ended up with over 100 unique and elaborate arrangements to sell, the most popular of which was our Guinness can planters – which although made as a bit of a joke, sold as soon as the doors opened on the morning of Garden Re-Leaf Day!” If you’d like to donate to Greenfingers via Robbie’s 24hr Plant-athon JustGiving page, you can do so by clicking here.
As the PR Manager for Greenfingers Garden Re-Leaf Day, Robbie came up with an industry first by broadcasting video logs and livestreams from the event itself, leading to a record level of engagement on Facebook. Click here to see the video
Garden Re-Leaf Walk
As Robbie’s Garden Re-Leaf event drew to a close, Kimberley was already part way through her 20 mile trek through Cambridgeshire. A much bigger event than in 2016, with over 100 walkers and runners bustling for a place at the start line, the day had a real buzz about it. Last to leave the starting point (her attempts to ‘miss the start’ were foiled, and alas she had to join in after all!) Kimberley was joined by the lovely team from Ascential Events, organisers of HWPR long-term client, Glee. For 20 miles these poor people had to listen to Kimberley’s endless chatter but thankfully they remained friends despite their ordeal! Through howling wind, a never changing landscape of fenland flatlands, and eventually the hustle and bustle of Cambridge city centre, Kimberley took almost eight gruelling hours to complete the walk, arriving back at Scotsdale Shelford store just before sun down. Talking about the walk, she said: “Now that my legs are working again, I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who took part in the walk this year. Not only was there a real sense of comradery, but the day had a real buzz about it. Even during those dark hours around mile 15, I felt really spurred on by those around me and the amazing support team. It’s been another fantastic event, but more importantly an amazing amount of money has been raised, enabling Greenfingers to continue their truly amazing work. Here’s to next year!”