Special Surrey Hills Advent Calendar Shares Love for Local This Christmas
2nd December 2021
Christmas is a time for giving and, this Christmas, one local woman has helped provide more than a little festive cheer to many through her work to produce a very special advent calendar – the Surrey Hills Advent Calendar.
Gemma Cockrell from Guildford has collated 25 gifts from Surrey Hills-based businesses that are fellow members of Surrey Hills Enterprises – a support network for local businesses that works to develop a thriving rural economy – as part of a unique advent calendar to be gifted to 50 carefully chosen, lucky recipients. From charity organisations within the Surrey Hills, to notable individuals particularly deserving of a festive treat, the advent calendar has been created as a way for businesses to give back this Christmas.
Founder of natural skincare company, Puremess, Gemma was named as this year’s Surrey Hills Gold Trademark winner for her work collaborating with other local businesses and in supporting the local community, presented by Sally Ashford of Charles Russell Speechlys, Surrey Hills Enterprises’ Corporate Partner.
Earlier this year, Gemma worked with other Surrey Hills Enterprises’ members to produce a Key Worker Care Pack to give back to NHS staff who had worked tirelessly during the pandemic.
As part of her ongoing work to support the community, Gemma decided to create the Surrey Hills Advent Calendar as a way of spreading the love for local this Christmas, to demonstrate what the Surrey Hills has to offer in terms of independent businesses, products and services.
Presented in a beautiful Christmas box, the advent calendars contain a wide range of festive treats for the lucky recipients, including candles, jewellery, skincare, vouchers for experiences, ornaments, chocolates, crafts, fudge and glass pieces, all generously gifted from independent artisans within the Surrey Hills and with a retail value of over £350 each. Numbered presents will be drawn out each day by the individual or organisation gifted an advent calendar, providing a festive treat and an insight into a special Surrey Hills Enterprises’ business each day in the run-up to Christmas.
This huge project, of coordinating the different small businesses that were to contribute, was something that Gemma worked tirelessly on, with lots of late nights spent collating the items and working with the other Surrey Hills Enterprises’ members to finalise all the worthy recipients. The resulting beautiful offering has been presented to a wide array of individuals and Surrey Hills’-based organisations, including worthy local charity recipients such as Cherry Trees, Shooting Star Children’s Hospices and Re:work. The Surrey Hills Enterprises’ members involved in the project, personally presented a box to a chosen recipient – an emotional moment, with the boxes being very gratefully received.
Gemma said: “Working alongside such an array of inspiring Surrey Hills Enterprises’ members to create this beautiful Surrey Hills Advent Calendar has been a real labour of love. It is wonderful to be able to share those businesses and their amazing products and services with the recipients as part of a month of decadent treats, whilst giving back to the community that has supported us all, as small local businesses, during the pandemic. Made with love and passion for the area in which we all live, it has been a truly special project.”
The Surrey Hills Advent Calendar is part of Surrey Hills Enterprises’ campaign to inspire local people to support local through their ‘1 in 5 Pledge’, urging consumers to buy at least 1 in every 5 of their purchases this Christmas from a Surrey Hills based business. By taking the 1 in 5 Pledge, people can be assured that they are not only supporting individual small businesses and their families, but also helping to boost both environmental sustainability – reducing the carbon footprint of the items they purchase – and supporting the local economy.
Shopping locally this Christmas also ensures that consumers can track the provenance of the products they buy, with many businesses offering the chance to visit their premises for tours and tastings, providing insight into the behind-the-scenes process and ingredients used and, ultimately, a closer connection to the gifts that we are buying. Find out more at: www.surreyhills.org/enterprises/surrey-hills-virtual-artisan-market.
To learn more about membership and the work of Surrey Hills Enterprises, visit: www.surreyhillsenterprises.co.uk.
To learn more about Puremess, visit: www.puremess.co.uk.
Advent Calendar Contents:
INZHO – Soy Wax tealight
Horny Pants – Horny Pants Voucher
Delightfully Decadent – Biscoff Fudge
Abinger Stained Glass – Mini stained glass window ornament and a fused star
Silver Anvil Jewellery – Sterling silver pin
binary botanical – Bottle of botanical beer
Puremess – Lip balm and mini sleep balm
Silent Pool Distillers – Mini Silent Pool Gin
Flourishing Health – Voucher
Chimney Fire Coffee – Taster pack of coffee
Lorraine Clifton Ceramics – Ceramic Christmas decoration
Sian T. Photography – Voucher
Sally Rule – Candle
Mandira’s Kitchen – Spice Sachet
Naked Nanny Hand Made Soap – Soap
Sweet C’s Chocolates – Bar of Christmas chocolate
Ruth Wheeler – Aromatherapy oil
Oddie & Hope – Sterling Silver earrings
Rewards Dog Training – Voucher
Hedges & Hurdles – Hedges and Hurdles Voucher
Adam Aaronson Glass Studio – Hand blown glass bauble
Sarah Cox (sjcoxart) – Voucher
Packhouse – Radiator room scenter sachet