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Mellowes Halloween
The winning display from Val and Dave Smith.

It was Halloween with a difference this year as trick or treating was swapped for a spooky community trail in Gillingham, thanks to The Mellowes Bupa Care Home.

Staff at the care home, on Common Mead Lane, rallied local businesses and residents to adorn their premises with ghoulish and spooky displays to form a chilling community trail for locals. This included a staff and resident team effort outside The Mellowes itself.

A map was created to mark the spooky route and help members of the Gillingham community judge their favourite displays as they walked. Residents of The Mellowes were also able to help judge as participants were encouraged to submit photos of their devilish displays.

Fifteen local businesses supported the fun-filled community initiative, including; Royal Mail Delivery Office, Gillingham Library, The Up in the Smoke Theatre Co, Utopia hairdressers, Mayflowers Florist and Little Gems Nursery, with eight of Gillingham’s residents also choosing to get involved.

But it was local residents, Val and Dave Smith, that were crowned overall winner with their ‘Frighton – on – Sea’ display.

Commenting on their win, Val said: ‘We’re delighted to have the title of Gillingham’s favourite spooky Halloween display. It was such a great way to bring the community together and we had lots of fun getting creative! We really got into the spirit of Halloween this year – it’s proved a welcome distraction and this initiative really lifted spirits across the town.’

Julia Finan, Activities Co-ordinator at The Mellowes Bupa Care Homes, added: ‘We’re thrilled our Halloween Trail was a resounding success and so many local businesses and residents took part. We’d like to thank everyone who took the time out to get creative. There really were some excellent entries but Val and Dave are deserved winners for their remarkable effort.

‘When we heard that trick or treating plans may have to be put on hold for a year, we didn’t want to disappoint children particularly in the local community, so decided a trail was a great substitute; we run a Christmas elf trail year on year, so thought we’d run a similar concept for Halloween.

‘Whilst our residents here at The Mellowes were not able to walk the trail, they very much enjoyed helping create our own zombie display and partaking in judging all the brilliant entries. We’re always looking for new and exciting experiences for our residents to enjoy, and this certainly was a thriller to remember.’

The Mellowes Bupa Care Home welcomes anyone in need of nursing or residential care, including those looking for respite, day and palliative care. For further information, please visit www.bupa.co.uk.

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