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13 Jul 2019 Community

Remembering loved ones at the Sunflower Memories Appeal

The Sunflower Memories Appeal is a beautiful way to celebrate the life of someone you love. This Saturday 13th July, the Kirklees community and beyond came together at Kirkwood to remember someone special. Here are some of their stories:

Tracey Matthews and Guv Singh, of Fenay Bridge, attended the Sunflower Memories Appeal with their good friend, Renee Summersgill.

Tracey dedicates a sunflower every year to both her mum and dad, Maureen and John Matthews. Guv also takes part in the Sunflower Memories Appeal and dedicates sunflowers to his mum and dad, Jarnail Singh and Bhajan Kaur.

This year, they attended with Renee, who dedicated a sunflower to her son, Alan. Alan was just 39-years-old when he died.

Guv and Renee in the Kirkwood gardens


Guv said: “We always enjoy attending Kirkwood events, especially Sunflower Memories, as we enjoy seeing the friends we have made by supporting Kirkwood over the years.

“We always love looking around the gardens and finding our dedicated sunflowers which we then place in our garden at home.

Tracey added: “Every year, I bake and donate cakes to the Sunflower Memories and that’s my way of supporting Kirkwood, to say thank you for all they did for my family.”

Carrie Iredale visited for the first time this year to dedicate a sunflower in memory of her mum, Sylvia Ann Iredale, who died at Kirkwood in May 2018.

Carrie holding her dedicated sunflower


Carrie, who lives in Oakes, attended Light up a Life in 2018 and hasn’t visited the Hospice since.

Carrie said: “I haven’t been back to the Hospice since December and it’s a way to support Kirkwood. The gardens are beautiful. My mum was at Kirkwood during May last year when the flowers in the garden were just starting to bloom.”

Dawn Cliffe attended this year’s event with her daughter, Megan, and her husband, Mike. Dawn and her family dedicate sunflowers to her mum and dad, Kathleen and Alan Fawcett.

Kathleen and Alan were both cared for by Kirkwood at the end of their lives.

Dawn said: “When I walk around the gardens at the Hospice, I feel close to them both. It’s nice to see the way the sunflowers are laid out and the gardens are beautiful. Attending these events is my way of supporting, by contributing throughout the year.

Dawn and Megan


“I like to come down to the Hospice for these events. It’s the people you see when you’re here, who were going through the same thing I was going through, at the same time. I feel close to them, like we have that connection.

“Even the staff; the nurses, the receptionists and the catering team, they all remember who you are.”

Ian Drummond, of Mirfield, also attended for the first time in memory of his wife, Melanie. Ian dedicated a sunflower to Melanie after she was cared for by Kirkwood at the end of her life back in February this year.

Melanie spent five days at Kirkwood, arriving on Friday 22nd February before sadly dying on Wednesday 27th February.

Melanie was also supported by Kirkwood Community Specialist Palliative Care Nurse, Moyra Wilson-Grant.

Ian said: “It’s nice to come down and see the sunflower that I dedicated.

Ian with his dedicated sunflower, in memory of Melanie


“I’ve started attending a drop-in session at Kirkwood and it’s nice to meet others that are going through the same thing. I have something in common with the people in the group and we can sit and have a coffee and chat together.

“It’s nice to come down to the Sunflower Memories and see some of these people. I’ve had a walk round the gardens and I know exactly where my sunflower is, I’ll definitely be taking it home.

“When Melanie was at the Hospice, the staff were amazing, I couldn’t fault them. I was able to stay over on the Tuesday night and be with her. It’s where Melanie wanted to be, she said it was nice there and I know it was the best place for her.”

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