Toolerstone is a not-for-profit ‘creative escape’ situated in private gardens in the Cheshire village of Sandiway.
The venue offers a variety of day-long creative workshops, in subjects including gardening, floristry, textiles, painting, wellbeing, and more, all inspired by nature and the surrounding area.
Toolerstone has been the happy family home of Camilla and Andy, along with their family for over 20 years. Sadly in 2019, Andy was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and passed away the following March.
Andy was a great believer in helping those who strive to help themselves and never forgot his upbringing in a council house.
Toolerstone is still very much a family home but, in Andy’s memory, Camilla wanted to share it with others.
After many long discussions and some crazy ideas, the concept of @Toolerstone was born.
Most of the workshops are ‘gifted’ to those who deserve a creative break in their lives; people who work in the care industry, in hospitals and hospices, who dedicate their lives to looking after others. Camilla and the team @Toolerstone wanted to create something to show thanks and appreciation for all they do.
Since opening in September 2021 they have already gifted 800 experience vouchers and have formed an agreement with Leighton Hospital whereby the hospital will give the employee a day’s annual leave to attend a workshop.
This is something that the team is keen to develop with other hospitals and care centres alike.
The workshops are also offered to the public and businesses, and they extend the same ethos of ‘escape. create. nourish’ through every single one of their days. Any funds that come from selling these workshops will help them to maintain and sustain the offering for the future.
“I find that being in the garden, surrounded by nature, brings many benefits to my mental and physical wellbeing. Finding inspiration for my creativity in this environment allows me to be immersed in the seasons, encouraged to be present to the moment. The connection I have with nature and the outdoors can be extremely uplifting and I would very much like to share this feeling with others.” Camilla Thomas