Usk Garden Centre ran a ‘Make a Difference This Christmas’ campaign throughout December, collecting items for the Salvation Army to distribute to 61 local charities helping needy people over the festive period.

Thanks to a wonderful response from customers, three packed carloads of toys, gifts, food and warm clothing were collected by the Salvation Army Pontypool corps and taken to their hall for sorting and distribution.

Commanding Officers Ian and Sara Browning thanked the garden centre and its customers for supporting the appeal and said they had been very busy over Christmas distributing all the items to needy families.

The idea for running the ‘Make a Difference’ campaign stemmed from a conversation between Kate James (restaurant manager and joint owner of Usk Garden Centre) and restaurant team member Charlotte Davies.

“Charlotte and I were just chatting about how we’d like to do something that would make a real difference to disadvantaged people in the area this Christmas and we came up with the idea of using the garden centre as a collection point for donated items,” said Kate.

“We were overwhelmed with the generous response from our lovely customers. The campaign was so successful we will aim to repeat it again next year.

“It’s a great feeling knowing we’ve helped people in a small way.”