A sea of metal flowers in the heart of Birmingham city centre has helped raise £20,000 for a local hospice.
From Monday 2 to Sunday 8 April, Birmingham St Mary’s planted over 1,000 pink wrought-iron flowers in Brindleyplace, as part of the charity’s annual Forget Me Not appeal. Each flower was donated by local people and celebrated the lives of loved ones who are sadly no longer with us.
Local Brummie celebrities got behind the appeal, including Line of Duty’s Claudia Jessie, This Morning’s Alison Hammond, ITV’s Bob Warman and BBC WM’s Llewela Bailey.
The week-long display was also an opportunity to see the forget-me-not flower dedicated to chocolate maker George Cadbury – who was voted the city’s top Brummie in a Twitter poll organised by the hospice and supported by the Birmingham Civic Society.
Lucy Watkins, head of fundraising at Birmingham St Mary’s, said: “The generosity of the public and the support on social media has been overwhelming – it’s been fantastic to see the city welcome back our Forget Me Not appeal with such warmth for the second year running.
“Although the display has now come down, there is still time for people to make a donation and take home one of our beautiful flowers as a lasting tribute to their loved one. Every contribution will help provide vital care to local people and their families living with life-limiting illness.”
Tracy Williams was just one of the many people who dedicated a flower to the display. She donated two flowers in memory of her parents, who were cared for at the hospice.
She said: “The care that Mum, Dad and our family received at Birmingham St Mary’s was truly amazing. Having both parents being supported for at the same time was tough but the care and compassion that the doctors and nurses showed our family was second to none – they moved mountains to comfort us all.
“Being able to celebrate their lives in this unique way is really special for our family. The display looked beautiful and it’s heart-warming to know that every flower represents the life of a loved one.”
Every day, Birmingham St Mary’s cares for 350 people living with life-limiting illness – whether that’s at the hospice, in people’s own homes, or in the community. It costs £8 million to run the hospice each year, so it truly relies on the generosity of local people to fund its crucial services.
You can still make a donation for a flower by visiting one of the hospice’s 16 shops across Birmingham or by taking a look here.