Award-winning charity City Hospice’s Forever Flowers campaign officially launched at the Senedd, home of the Welsh parliament, on April 25.
Forever Flowers invites supporters to purchase a limited-edition flower to remember cherished family members, friends, colleagues and loved ones. The unique and lasting tributes will feature in a striking display within the grounds of Cardiff Castle from Saturday July 30 to Sunday August 14.
This year’s Forever Flower is a sunflower which for many is a symbol of positivity, admiration, loyalty and devotion.
Families and patients supported by the charity joined volunteers, campaign sponsors and politicians to celebrate the launch of Forever Flowers at the event sponsored by Jenny Rathbone MS.
Palliative care patient Amy-Claire Davies, who has been under the care of City Hospice for nearly 8 years, was among the speakers at the event.
Amy-Claire regularly documents her life living with an incurable degenerative disease and its daily symptoms of pain, nausea, seizures and fatigue as @the_incurable_optimist with her 36,000+ TikTok followers as well as across other social media platforms.
Amy-Claire Davies said: “I was delighted to find out City Hospice’s Forever Flower this year would be a sunflower. I love the fact that they follow the sun, and that when no sun can be seen, they turn to each other for strength and growth.
“My life is likely to be a short one, but that does not mean I can’t choose to make it a beautifully and brilliantly bright one, like a sunflower, full of grand adventures, wonderful people, plenty of laughter and love. Hospice care is what has enabled me to live such a bright life, despite the darkness and challenges living with my condition presents me with.
“So many people still have a very old-fashioned stereotype in mind of what hospice care means. Hospice care is not about waiting for death but about empowering people to live their lives despite difficult circumstances. The most important thing City Hospice does is to help me live a good life, as much as possible, for as long as possible.
“I truly hope that this year the Forever Flowers campaign will be more successful than ever in raising funds and awareness that will help City Hospice to continue caring for so many people and their loved ones.”
Other speakers included Deputy Health Minister Lynne Neagle MS and Richard Thurston, who shared how the charity had supported his family through his wife’s illness and death.
Deputy Health Minister Lynne Neagle MS said: “It’s important that we help support people to ensure they die with dignity, as well as support those left behind in the grieving process. The Welsh Government recognises the contribution that hospices, such as City Hospice, make to patients, carers and their families and I applaud all hospice staff who operated through the pandemic. The compassion that patients and families received would have been very different without hospice teams going above and beyond for those in their care.”
Jenny Rathbone MS said: “I was delighted to sponsor City Hospice’s campaign launch at the Senedd on April 25. Cancer and other life limiting conditions can strike at any time and affect us all and City Hospice is able to support people in Cardiff through these difficult times.
“The sunflower is an excellent symbol for the Forever Flowers campaign; it is such a warming and uplifting symbol and makes for a greater badge of honour for our lives.”
Liz Andrews, City Hospice’s Chief Executive, said: “Forever Flowers is an incredibly special way to come together, celebrate life and remember loved ones. We are extremely grateful for the opportunity to officially launch the campaign at the Senedd with the support of Jenny Rathbone MS and Lynne Neagle MS, and be able to share more about the impact of palliative care in the community.”