Families can remember their loved ones and celebrate the lives they lived at a special St Giles Hospice memorial garden in Whittington this spring.
Relatives and friends are being invited to dedicate a unique ‘Celebrate Lives Lived’ orange Gerbera peg, personalised with the name of their loved one, in return for a donation which will help to fund the work of St Giles supporting patients living with a terminal illness.
For 2021, St Giles has also set up a special virtual garden with the name of your loved one shown next to a Gerbera in an online display which can be viewed at any time. This will be particularly useful for people who are self-isolating or who do not wish to visit in person.
The gardens will create a colourful display of Gerbera pegs dedicated to the memory of loved ones, whether they have been cared for at St Giles Hospice or not, which will then be open to visitors throughout May, following current Government COVID-19 guidelines.
Chloe Herbert, Head of Fundraising at St Giles Hospice, said: “Celebrate Lives Lived offers a special way to remember your loved ones each spring. You can come to the garden in a safe and socially-distanced visit and at the end of the month you can take the Gerbera peg home as a special keepsake or to plant in your garden.”
Lichfield police officer Gavin Farley (52) is supporting Celebrate Lives Lived this year in memory of his mother Sheila Watson, who died with leukaemia at St Giles Hospice last June at the age of 74.
Gavin said that although most people see going into a hospice as marking the end of life, for his mother St Giles was the beginning of a new phase of her life. “Despite her illness she enjoyed being there and made so many new friends,” he said. “It wasn’t just a place of sadness, it was a place of joy as well.
“Everyone is so caring and nothing is too much trouble. To mark VE Day, the hospice held its own celebrations and the staff did my mum’s hair and makeup, which she really appreciated. Plus, when they found out that Monsters Inc. was her favourite film, they set it up on a laptop so that she could watch it in her room. It’s these little things that made such a massive difference.
“The staff at St Giles really went above and beyond what they had to do for their jobs – they were carers but became friends to us all, because they were as thoughtful and supportive to the families just as much as their patients.
“We’ll definitely be supporting Celebrate Lives Lived, not only to thank St Giles for the way they looked after Mom, but as a way of celebrating her life and memory too. Despite the sadness of her passing, St Giles has so many good memories for us.
” To dedicate your Gerbera, visit www.stgileshospice.com/celebrateliveslived or call 01543 432538 before midday on Friday 16th April. PICTURE CAPTION: Gavin and Angela Farley with Gavin’s mum Sheila Watson; Sheila with nurses at St Giles Hospice; and the Celebrate Lives Lived Gerberas.