THE first celebration garden in Worcester was unveiled today (Saturday) in support of the city hospice as people remembered those they have loved and lost.

The sea of 1,000 handcrafted forget-me-not clusters turned the grass around St Andrew’s Spire in Worcester from green to blue in support of St Richard’s Hospice as part of Worcester Festival.

Some flowers sponsored in memory of those who are no longer with us but not all - some were a birthday present for a family member or just a way to recognise the valuable role of the hospice in Worcester.

Charlie Homer, a community fundraiser for the hospice, said the flowers were a symbol of spring and hope and each was handmade with no two exactly alike.

People can sponsor an individual cluster to raise money for the hospice in Wildwood Drive with 300 clusters still left to sponsor with a gift.

He said: “We have had donations ranging from £5 to £1,000. It is Worcestershire’s first celebration garden. The idea was a joint effort from our fundraisers and we always look at new ways to involve the community. We want to raise around £40,000 for the hospice.”

Fundraising director Tricia Cavell said: “Lots of people have asked us about the risk attached to it and will people respect the flowers. That’s a risk we decided to take. We hope that people will reflect that the majority of the flowers are in memory of people. We are trusting our community to respect the celebration garden.”

The flowers will be on display on the grass around the base of the spire until August 29.

Among those to make a donation for a cluster of forget-me-nots were Mary and Peter Sollis of St Peter’s in Worcester.

Mrs Sollis said: “We've done quite a bit of fundraising for St Richard’s Hospice and Acorns. St Richard’s Hospice is such a wonderful place.”

Mr Sollis said: “At St Richard’s they really look after not only the patient but the whole family.”

The hospice needs the funds raised to continue to provide care to a projected 2,600 patients and their families next year.

People can make donations of £30 (the cost of a specialist day hospice nurse for two hours), £44 (which would pay for a hospice at home healthcare assistant for four hours), £66 (which could pay for a healthcare assistant in the in-patient unit for a day) or a larger donation if they are able to.

The celebration garden in sponsored by Open GI.

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