Pilgrims Hospices were visited by more than 600 people in their gardens at Canterbury, Thanet and Ashford to find their loved one’s dedicated sunflower memory markers. Despite predictions of a slightly damp weekend ahead, the rain stayed away and there was a lovely atmosphere at each event with the opportunity for friends and family to remember and celebrate their loved ones’ lives.
Visitors were welcomed with tea, cake and strawberries with cream served by Pilgrims volunteers in the charity’s Therapy Centres. These spaces, most often used by the Wellbeing Teams for their Living Well and creative art sessions, hosted beautiful displays of sunflower-themed artworks made by patients and carers.
Members of the Wellbeing Team were present on the day, to speak to visitors about their work, and hear their memories of lost loved ones. Jane, Wellbeing Practitioner at the Thanet Hospice, said: “Families talked about the calm and peaceful feelings they had about being back at the hospice, that it is a safe space for them to talk in, how they felt cared for and that carers too were treated with such dignity both before and after their loved one had died. Some had found it hard to return but then were able to cry, laugh and feel they had made a positive step forward by attending the event. It was a day that was right for both those whose feelings were still incredibly raw, and for those who were returning after 10 years of attending.”
In the lead up to the events, the team at Pilgrims reached out to the local community to help support the event. Ellie Cane, who runs the events at the Hospice, extended her thanks saying:
“Thank you to everyone who kindly donated which helped make the events such a success. To all the keen crafters and knitters who produced beautiful items to sell for donations on the day; Meadow Grange Nursery and our volunteer gardeners who grew over 200 sunflowers plants; and to the Tesco Community Champions and S & A Farms who provided the strawberries for us to serve to our visitors. I’m delighted to say this year’s Sunflower Memories Appeal has so far raised in excess of £36,000, with donations still coming in. This just would not have been possible without the collective effort of our staff, volunteers and our amazing local community.”
There is still time to donate to have a dedicated sunflower memory marker sent to you in memory of your loved one. For more information contact the Pilgrims Hospices Supporter Relations Team on 01227 782062, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.