Ashgate Hospicecare plans fundraising sculpture display at Chatsworth to help people remember loved ones

Ashgate Hospicecare has launched a new fundraising initiative which will help supporters to celebrate, mourn and remember their loved ones as part of a sculpture installation at Chatsworth.

Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 2:49 pm

The Forget-Me-Not appeal invites people to make a donation towards a custom- made metal flower – one of thousands which will form a display on the estate, June 8-30.

The charity’s head of fundraising Jack Wood said: “The last year has been a difficult time for everyone and one of the most heart-breaking aspects is how it took away the opportunity for people to say their final goodbyes, to be by their bedside and to share in those sacred last moments.

“This is extremely difficult for those left behind, as they look for a way to process their experiences and navigate this new world of grief. That is why we are proud to be able to offer our community a meaningful way to remember their loved ones and to provide them with the time to reflect.”

The flowers can be dedicated to anyone, not just patients of the hospice, but Winster resident Steve Griffiths, 67, will be remembering his wife, Julie, who was cared for by Ashgate after being diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare type of lung cancer.

He said: “I know Julie would have loved to have walked through the stunning grounds at Chatsworth to see the meadow of flowers glistening in the sun.

“Ashgate gave her a very calming and peaceful end to her life and I’m enormously grateful for this. It takes the stress away so you can focus on creating those final memories together. Whatever we needed was there, whenever we needed it.”

The installation is being hosted at Chatsworth by the Duke of Devonshire, who is also the charity’s president.

Winster resident Steve Griffiths has dedicated a forget-me-not to wife Julie as part of the Ashgate Hospicecare appeal.

He said: “We are delighted to welcome the local community to pause in a moment of reflection together. Undoubtedly, this has been an extremely challenging year, which makes this display ever more poignant, while raising much needed funds for our much-loved local hospice.

The suggested donation is £25, which will support the hospice’s round-the-clock specialist end-of-life care.

Supporters will be able to collect their flower, or have them posted to them in July, once the display is removed.

For details, see https://bit.ly/3eYpP1e or call 01246 567250.

The Duke and Duchess of Devonshire are hosting the display at Chatsworth in June.

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