As the sun shone and the sunflowers bloomed visitors to Ashford enjoyed the weather, nature and the opportunity to help a worthy cause.
Now in its third year the Sunflower Fields for Hospice fundraiser allows people to visit the field in Ashford and another in Kilternan to pick sunflowers and donate whatever they can afford to Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services.
Since opening to the public on August 8 the sunflower field has welcomed a steady stream of visitors and Eleanor Flew, Director of Fundraising and Communications, Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services, said, “Visits to the sunflower field are proving very popular and we’ve had a wonderful response to this fundraiser.
"We have been delighted to meet and chat with lots of community about the hospice – those who’ve been supporters over many year and those who have had friends and loved ones in the care of Wicklow Hospice’s team recently and are donating in memory of loved ones.
“Sunflowers have long been a symbol of hospice and palliative care and the Sunflower Fields follow on from our annual flag day in June. The sunflower field really brings a smile to people’s faces. Both young and old are enjoying their visit, taking lots of photos as they explore the field and picking their favourite to bring home as a souvenir.
"We are sincerely grateful to Charles Tottenham for all the time and effort he has given to make this project such a success and we also thank the fantastic volunteers from the community who have been helping out at the field daily and make events like this possible.
“At the moment, the field is open daily from 10 a.m. until 4.45 p.m. (weather permitting) no pre-booking is required. Visitors are welcome take photos in the field and should bring a cutting implement if they would like to take sunflowers home.
"There are no set charges but visitors are asked to donate to Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services, Wicklow Hospice using cash or by tapping a credit or debit card. All are welcome but please remember these are open fields and appropriate footwear is needed and no dogs are allowed. There is limited parking on site and no toilet facilities or refreshments available.”
The second field, at Scalp Wood Nurseries in Kilternan opened at the start of August and has already closed to the public.
The closing date for the field in Ashford has yet to be confirmed, visitors are advised to keep an eye on Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services social media for details.