Celebration of our success in the Co-op Community Fund

Erlas Victorian Walled Garden were chosen as one of three local projects to benefit by sharing 1% of what customers spend on Co-op branded products. The voting took place, on line, by members of the Co-op from April to November 2017.

We were thrilled to learn that at the end of the voting ’round’, we would be awarded £4967.47, alongside the ‘Homestart’ and ‘Tenovus’ Charities.

On Saturday 25th November, we were invited to receive a ‘big’ cheque from staff at the Caia Park Co-op, in Prince Charles Street, Wrexham. The picture shows Ian and Dan Macinnes receive the cheque from staff member, Wendy. The funding will go towards improving access around the walled gardens, and into the wild-life areas. A big ‘Thankyou’ to everyone who voted and to the Co-op too!

We have also been running the project; ‘Bird watching for Twitchers of all ages’, and have run sessions every 1st Monday morning of the month since September; (although our beneficiaries also like joining in, and identifying our feathered friends as they feed). Last Friday, we were visited by 14 members of the Alyn Waters Nordic walking group, who were thrilled to see at least 13 different bird species visit the bird feeding stations.

Coffee, tea and biscuits were provided by Sheila Meadows, and the group enjoyed walking around the gardens and the woodland, and one or two visitors said that they would be back to bird watch again.

Alyn uses the strimmer bought from the Wrexham Community Endowment Fund. A hedge strimmer, also purchased from this grant, has enabled our students to learn how to operate such equipment safely, and gives them opportunities to practise their skills for family and friends at weekend too.


A Busy weekend at EVWG!

Last Saturday, 18th November, we opened our gates to the communities of Wrexham and beyond, and welcomed over 250 people to see what we do here. We raised just over £1500, which is an incredible achievement.

Santa Ray met some of our students, including Cathy, before directing visitors at the main gates. Refreshments were ably served by Jean, Chris and Sue, with lots of mince pies and brownies to sample.

Inside our education room, a tombola, raffle, craft stall, home-made cake stall and Emma’s cushions drew in the crowds, with over £820 made here alone.

Just outside, there were reindeer, Christmas tree decorations, bird feeders, snowmen, vegetables and 2018 calendars for sale (which are still available at £5 each -just call in to buy one)

Terry demonstrated wood turning on his own lathe, and Greg and mum were very interested.

Bethan and Sian helped sell reindeer, bird feeders and Xmas decorations.

And in the West Garden, the Johnstown guides helped visitors make Xmas gifts. There was face painting, mulled wine, second hand books, and, of course, our wonderful gardens to enjoy.

Ann’s family enjoyed walking around the gardens

Face-painting was expertly done by Helen and friend, and Kate served up mulled wine and spiced apple juice as people browsed the second hand books.

Ian and Norah Lucas called in too, and met 2 guides, Militsa and Sam, who had taken a break for some cake!

This would not happen without all the hard work of our wonderful volunteers, staff and students, who have been preparing for the Fayre all week. On Friday, during the buzz of activity; John Rose, Director, and Gareth Hughes, Development Officer of the Big Lottery visited at the invitation of Ian Lucas. After a discussion with Directors Geoff and Stan, John walked around the gardens and wild-life areas, meeting volunteers and students. Here you can see how warmly James greeted John!

And finally….Emma and Ann gave a talk to the Wrexham Erddig Inner Wheel at Holt Lodge on Monday afternoon. The ladies thanked us for a ‘truly inspirational talk’, and Emma happily sold some of our home-made crafts left over from the Fayre.

Will post more news next week too!



News about our Christmas Fayre on Saturday 18th November 1-3.30pm plus ‘Away Day’ at EVWG

Preparations for our Christmas Fayre are coming along nicely, and a new volunteer, Terry, has kindly created these 2 hares, which will be part of our raffle prizes next Saturday.

Please come along to the afternoon, as there will be plenty to buy, including home-made crafts, cushions, cakes and gifts made by the guides; plus children’s activities; with fruit, plants and vegetables, and reindeer for sale.

There will be light refreshments, including warm mulled wine, tea and cakes, and face-painting and a second hand book stall to browse through. Our 2018 calendars will also be available, and, of course, a chance to walk around the walled gardens, and meet some of our students.

It costs £1 to get in,  but is free to children.

We held our first ever ‘Away Day’ at Erlas last Saturday.19 of our volunteers, staff and Directors met for the best part of the day to generate ideas to initiate an EVWG strategic plan for the next 5 to 10 years. The day’s sessions were led by Geoff and Andrew, with home-made soups and apple Bakewell tart provided by Sheila and Mike. Lots of ideas were generated, and these will be summarised for the board of Directors to consider.

Thanks to Julie and team for the use of the log cabin for the event. We will be hosting another day in the New Year for our beneficiaries’ and their families, and then will hold another event for volunteers, staff and Directors later in the year. This ‘process’ will hopefully allow everyone to have a ‘stake’ in the development of EVWG.

See you on the 18th November…..



Support us at the Co-op!

If you have a Co-op loyalty card you can simply register as a supporter of the Erlas Victorian Walled Garden and our charity will receive 1% of everything you spend on selected Co-op branded products and services from Co-op Group businesses, including food stores and funeral homes.

Watch this short video to see how simple it is!

Of course, if you don’t already have a Co-op loyalty card – why not?  In addition to the 1% you could be donating to the community you can get 5% of what you spend put into your Co-op Membership account.