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Beautiful community-made sunflower cascade brightens up Highland Hospice

Sue McKelvie, facilities co-ordinator with The Highland Hospice in Inverness photographed with their Sunflower Cascade.
Sue McKelvie, facilities co-ordinator with The Highland Hospice in Inverness photographed with their Sunflower Cascade.

A beautiful community-made sunflower cascade has brightened up the offices of Highland Hospice in Inverness.

The charity made an online plea last spring for people to knit and crochet sunflowers and send them in for their special display to mark Wear Yellow Day 2021.

They received a massive reception online, with the post shared thousands of times and donations sent from around the world.

Over the past year, the Highland Hospice has received hundreds of bags of home-made flowers from people across the UK, and even from as far away as Spain and Germany.

Our Sunflower Cascade is complete! 🌻🧶🌻🧶In May last year we put out a call for people to knit and crochet wool…

Posted by Highland Hospice on Wednesday, 19 May 2021

Because the project was so popular, the charity is going to make two cascades, with the first already installed at their main offices in Ness House, Inverness.

The second will be used as part of a special window display at Eastgate Centre ahead of their Wear Yellow Day next Friday.

‘Fantastic response’

Sue McKelvie, facilities coordinator with The Highland Hospice in Inverness photographed with their Sunflower Cascade. Picture by Sandy McCook.

Andrew Leaver, head of fundraising and development, revealed they were delighted with the “fantastic” response their project got on social media.

He said: “The project has been ongoing for just over a year, we came up with the idea as we went into lockdown.

“We thought about how people would be stuck at home, maybe with nothing to do.

“Crafting is a huge activity, and we noticed how people had knitted or crocheted huge displays of poppies so why not do the same for us, as the sunflower is our logo and we can make some artwork for us.

The Sunflower Cascade.

“We had people sending in their flowers through the mail and the original post on our social media page got thousands of shares.

“It’s brilliant to see the final product.”

One big-hearted crafter even sent in a box of 200 flowers along with a small note.

Volunteers at the Hospice sewed the sunflowers onto a fabric backing, with more than 150 people sending in flowers.

The cascade is about 5m tall and 4m, with about 15sqm of sunflowers on display.

It has been draped over the Highland Hospice’s balcony at their reception in a “dramatic way” with it “flowing” over the top of it.

Ready for Wear Yellow Day

Mr Leaver revealed that they had no idea it would prove such a popular project.

He added:  “It has been installed in time for Friday May 28, which is our Wear Yellow Day, where businesses and schools across the Highlands fundraise for us and wear yellow.

“Hopefully we can have the window display ready, it might have to be just on the Friday.

“We didn’t know how far the project would go originally, but both the engagement-wise and physically, it has been brilliant.

Sue McKelvie, facilities coordinator with The Highland Hospice in Inverness photographed with their Sunflower Cascade. Picture: Sandy McCook.

“The number of flowers we received and people taking part, it’s just amazing how much of a community project it is.

“And of course, it’s an art project, a community one.

“Thank you to everyone who sent stuff in and for the amazing support, we are just delighted.”

Highland Hospice also raised £1,200 in financial support through the project, as they asked for a small donation with the sunflowers.

You can visit the cascade in the charity’s reception area between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

Only two people will be allowed in at a time, and you can make a contactless donation to show your support for the project.

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