independent

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Flower power!

Published 11/06/2013 | 05:40

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Checking the sunflowers at Loughan House were Officer Alan Wallace, John Kelly, North West Hospice; Ethel Gavin, Governor, Loughan House; Alan McGowan, Jimmy Kelly and Cathal Martin

THEY'RE spreading a little sunshine from Loughan House.

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Inmates at the Blacklion facility have grown more than 1,500 sunflowers in aid of North West Hospice.

The fundraiser is a follow-on from the highly successful St. Patrick's Day shamrock growing scheme.

Sunflower Days take place from June 13th to June 15th.

The Loughan House sunflowers were delivered to the North West Hospice yesterday, Monday.

Governor of Loughan House, Ethel Gavin said: "It benefits the inmates knowing their effort is going to a good cause.

"We are delighted to be associated with it and we hope this will be the start of a very long relationship with North West Hospice.

"The idea came from Officer Jimmy Keely who felt it would be good to continue the work of St. Patrick's Day."

Officer Alan McGowan, who has been overseeing the growing of the sunflowers, says the initiative has worked well.

Alan said: "The sunflowers were inside in tunnels and we are happy to donate them to such a worthy cause."

Sunflower Days is a major national fundraising event for hospices in Ireland.

This is the first time that real sunflowers will be available.

Sunflowers and pins can be purchased from North West Hospice volunteers throughout the north west.

Maeve Butler of North West Hospice said they were grateful to Loughan House for the help.

She said: "The shamrock growing scheme was successful.

"It's great to follow up with the sunflower scheme."

North West Hospice's John Kelly said: "This is a major, annual fundraising event for us.

"We must raise €1 million every year, which is a huge challenge for us.

"We know we can do it as long as we have the support of our community.

"We are very grateful to everyone at Loughan House for partnering with us on Sunflower Days this year."

The sunflowers will sell for €3 each, or two for €5.

While the event is taking place on a national scale, all Sunflower Days' activities in Sligo, Leitrim and South Donegal are organised by North West Hospice.

Every euro raised in the region goes to maintaining the North West Hospice service.

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