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GCA Award For Squire's Garden Centre Reigate

Antony Snow & Sarah Squire

SQUIRE’S Garden Centre Reigate has been presented this month (April 2021) with the Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) Garden Retail Online Workshops (GROW) award for completing the most GROW training modules last year (2020).

The award was first introduced in 2015 to encourage GCA members to utilise the programme by rewarding an individual garden centre whose employees complete, on average, the most courses throughout the year.

Antony Snow, Instructional Designer for GROW at the GCA, said: “Last year (2020) was a very difficult time for numerous reasons, but the national lockdowns and restrictions on travel meant that the more traditional on-site face-to-face training of employees wasn’t always possible.

“However, GROW users were able to continue to access valuable training, even when on furlough, as the system is available 24/7 from any device. While the overall number of course completions was slightly less than previous years, it was encouraging to see so many users participating in courses last year and the average number of completions among the top 10 centres was still very high.

“It’s great to see garden centre staff benefitting from GROW and we’d like to say a huge ‘congratulations’ to all staff at Squire’s Garden Centre, Reigate.” 

Thanks to the GROW e-learning facility, garden centre staff can improve their knowledge, gain confidence and expertise and improve the quality of the customer’s experience at their garden centre. 

Users can be assured that they are always receiving the correct, practical and unbiased advice, solutions to problems and help with gardening projects.

It is the most cost-effective way of delivering training to everyone employed within a garden centre.

Antony added: “Following on from GROW’s success in 2020, we will be launching a variety of new modules in 2021. A major addition will be a series of modules on the Environment and Sustainability, of which greener gardening will be a part of. These are subjects we have always wanted to cover in more detail and after consideration, it was felt that we could do this via two or three separate courses, so users can look out for these this and next year. They will be a major addition to GROW in 2021 and beyond. 

“Other new modules include poisonous plants, which provides learners with an overview of which commonly sold plants, aren’t necessarily fatal, but pose a risk if ingested or if a person or pet comes into contact with them and a till security module will provide an overview of the best practices for checkout staff to follow to ensure that they don’t become the victim of fraud. 

“We are also looking to improve our current manual handling training, which covers the basic principles, but we felt could be improved to be more relevant for lifting and handling tasks in a garden centre environment specifically. We also hope to explore topics including equality and diversity.” 

As well as being available exclusively to our member garden centres, the GROW facility is now also available to Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) garden centre members too. 

Sarah Squire, Chairman of Squire’s Garden Centres, said: “I was so delighted to receive this award on behalf of my colleagues at our Reigate garden centre. This award is really important to us. It represents a great deal of commitment on the part of the team at Reigate and their dedication to serving our customers through continuously enhancing their knowledge. GCA GROW is an intrinsic part of our training programme and we look forward to seeing how it develops in the future as further modules are added.” 

The GCA represents nearly 200 garden centres nationwide. 

Through sharing information and its inspection programme the GCA helps members to achieve high standards in customer service, plant quality and reliability. 

For further information, please call 01244 952170. Alternatively, please visit, log on to or follow the organisation on Twitter at

Source : Garden Centre Association

Image : Antony Snow, Instructional Designer for GROW with Chairman of Squire’s Garden Centres, Sarah Squire receiving the GCA GROW Training Award.

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18 April 2021

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