Ashgate Hospice reveal ‘stunning’ display at Derbyshire country house in memory of lost loved ones

Ashgate Hospice’s ‘poignant’ remembrance display – featuring thousands of keepsake forget-me-not flowers – has been unveiled at a Derbyshire country house.

Tuesday, 21st June 2022, 3:51 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st June 2022, 3:53 pm

The display at Renishaw Hall and Gardens, near Eckington, has been planted as part of Ashgate Hospice’s Forget-Me-Not Appeal, sponsored by Graysons Solicitors.

Each pink flower has been dedicated to loved ones who have passed away, in return for a £25 donation to the hospice.

Families are being invited to visit the display for free in the picturesque grounds of the estate this week, between Wednesday, June 22 and Sunday, June 26.

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Karen Esposito dedicated a flower to her father, Tony, who passed away last year. Credit: Tom Hodgson

There are 2,000 of the 45cm keepsake flowers being showcased in total, which were handcrafted by the British Ironworks Centre.

Head of fundraising at the hospice, Jack Wood, said the campaign is a special way for supporters to celebrate, mourn and remember loved ones.

“Everyone at Ashgate Hospice is delighted that our Forget-Me-Not display is finally open at Renishaw Hall and Gardens.

“The special display really is stunning and so poignant – it’s incredible to think each one has been dedicated in memory of people’s loved ones across North Derbyshire.

Thousands of the flowers can be seen at the grounds of Renishaw Hall. Credit: Tom Hodgson

“We’re so grateful to everyone who has supported our appeal so far – the donations will mean we can be there to provide vital care for families across North Derbyshire. I’d also like to thank all of our brilliant volunteers and staff members who helped with our installation over the past week – we really appreciate everyone’s dedicated support.

“It’s not too late to dedicate a flower in memory of your loved one – just head over to our website to find out more about supporting the campaign.”

Amongst those remembering someone special is Karen Esposito, who has dedicated a flower in memory of her dad, Tony Jackson – who was cared for by the hospice at the end of his life.

Tony was diagnosed with a rare form of MND in November 2020, and Karen said the care he and her family received at the hospice was “special”.

“I especially remember the much-needed humour in the face of a terrifying disease. Ashgate made Dad feel as comfortable as he possibly could be. 

“He passed away at Ashgate in December 2021. We weren’t there with him when he died – I had gone home for a rest, expecting to see him again the next day – so it was such a comfort to speak to the two wonderful nurses who were holding his hands for us.

“The staff are special at Ashgate. They are skilled, compassionate, and open. I honestly do not know how we would have managed without them.

“We all have an increased respect for the work they do and the need for the specialised approach that is needed for people who are at very vulnerable stages of life.”

Once the display ends, supporters of the campaign can then collect their flower from Ashgate Hospice in Chesterfield between Friday, July 1 and Sunday, July 3. Donors can also choose to have their flower posted to them.

To dedicate a flower, visit www.ashgatehospice.org.uk/forget-me-not or call the fundraising team on 01246 567250.