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A Special Way to Remember

29 April 2016

A new Forget-Me-Not Remembrance Garden, with the capacity to display 1,500 beautiful handcrafted flowers, is to be opened at The Hospice of St Francis in May.

Flowers produced by the team who brought a sea of poppies to the Tower of London will give people the chance to remember a loved one and are available to purchase now, priced £25 each.

Vanessa Howden-Smith, the Hospice’s In Memoriam Fundraising Manager, said, “Remembering a loved one is a very personal thing and The Hospice of St Francis’ Forget Me Not Garden is a unique and special way to remember and celebrate the life of someone important to you.

“After seeing the reaction that everyone had to the spectacular poppies that surrounded the Tower of London last year, we thought that it would be lovely if we could recreate something similar in the beautiful Hospice grounds. Forget-Me-Nots, made by the same team, seemed like the perfect choice.”

The 20-inch flowers, made from high quality, weatherproof foamex, will be on display to the public from mid-May to mid-June, after which time, those who have purchased one will be able to collect their flowers or have them sent to them as a special keepsake.

Ms Howden-Smith added, “You don’t have to have had any association with the Hospice. You can purchase as many flowers as you like to remember whoever you like or you can even buy one, as one lady did the other day, just because you like Forget-Me-Nots.

“Everyone who has purchased a flower will be able to take it home to display indoors or put in their garden to remind them of their loved one and the lives they shared together.”

Jill Grimwood, 57, is one of over 200 people who have bought a Forget-Me-Not Flower so far. Jill has reserved one in memory of her mum Hazel, who passed away at the Hospice in January of last year.

“I read about them in the Hospice’s Spring Newsletter and thought what a lovely idea. Mum loved her garden, which would always be full of flowers, including Forget Me Nots.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the display in the grounds of the Hospice, when I come up for my weekly volunteering on the Inpatient Unit. When the display has come to an end, I thought it would be nice to display it on Mums allotment, which was one of her favourite places to be and has now been taken over by another lady to enjoy.

“I hope by supporting the Hospice in this way, it will enable it to carry on caring for other families the way they did so well with mine.

“To lose a parent is the probably the hardest thing we all have to face in life, but the love and support that we have received from The Hospice of St Francis has helped us deal with our loss in so many positive ways.  We’ll always be grateful for the care my Mum received and needed at the end of her life.”

A team of over 30 volunteer gardeners are about to start work preparing the “stage” for the vivid display, which will be designed to resemble a waterfall and river.

Every penny raised will help the Hospice raise the £4.8m it needs every year to fund its free care for people facing life-limiting illness. To reserve a special Forget-Me-Not, please complete an online order form on the Hospice’s website here: www.stfrancis.org.uk/forgetmenot , or for more information, email vanessa.howden-smith@stfrancis.org.uk or call 01442 869555. 

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