Ashgate’s stunning flower display in memory of loved ones set to open at Chatsworth

Ashgate Hospicecare is inviting North Derbyshire to remember their loved ones by visiting a poignant and spectacular display featuring thousands of forget-me-not flowers at Chatsworth this month.

The charity launched its Forget-Me-Not Appeal in May as a special way for supporters to celebrate, mourn and remember their loved ones who are no longer with us.

Hundreds have donated to receive a flower in memory of someone special, each flower measures 45cm in length and is lovingly crafted by the British Ironwork Centre.  Anyone who would like to dedicate a flower to their loved one can do so by making a suggested donation of £25.

The striking purple flowers will form a display from 8th to 30th June, within the picturesque grounds of Chatsworth.

Ann Taylor is supporting Ashgate’s campaign in memory of her brother Paul, who was cared for on the hospice’s inpatient unit after being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.

She’s encouraging the public to head along to Chatsworth in June to visit the field of stunning forget-me-not flowers.

“I’ll never forget the moment we first set foot in Ashgate Hospicecare with my brother Paul, it was like a huge weight had been lifted off our shoulders; we could start to breathe again.

“As we pushed him through the doors, there was a team of nurses and doctors just waiting there for him. We just looked at one another and couldn’t believe it. We instantly knew he was in the right place, and I’ll always remember that huge feeling of relief.

“Paul died a week later but the love and care not only he, but our whole family, received during that short time is indescribable. You could call it ‘fantastic’ or ‘second-to-none’ but words honestly aren’t able to do it justice.

“I feel like I owe Ashgate everything; I’ll be indebted to them forever. That’s why I’m supporting the Forget-Me-Not Appeal and I’d like to invite you to do the same, so their wonderful team can be there for people like Paul when they need it most in years to come.”

Paul Fields, a keen motorcyclist who had been looking forward to enjoying his retirement, died in November 2018, aged 58 – just months after he was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.

Ann continues: “We had been headless chickens at home trying to care for Paul due to the complexity of his condition, but that all changed when we arrived at Ashgate.

“Ashgate just made everything so much more comfortable for him; they had the right equipment, the bed, the hoist that Paul needed. They were able to look after his personal care if we felt we couldn’t do it; there was never a big deal made of anything. They’d just say, “you go and have a cup of tea now, we’ll sort this out for you.”

Thousands of forget-me-nots will form the display at Chatsworth, home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire.

Chief Executive of Ashgate Hospicecare, Barbara Anne-Walker, said: “This past year has been so difficult for so many people, so we wanted to give people the opportunity to grieve, remember and celebrate their loved ones in a special way.

“The beautifully crafted forget-me-not flowers are such a lovely way of signifying and memorialising the life of your loved one who may no longer be with us. We can’t wait to see thousands of the flowers form the stunning display at Chatsworth in June and I hope our supporters will come to visit.

“Thank you so much to everyone who has supported Ashgate’s Forget-Me-Not Appeal so far, your support means we can continue delivering our care to thousands of families like Ann’s across North Derbyshire. If you haven’t got yours yet head over to our website to support the campaign.”

The suggested donation for a forget-me-not is £25 and money raised will be used to fund the hospice’s round-the-clock specialist end-of-life care.

To dedicate a flower, please click here or call the fundraising team on 01246 567250.

Supporters will be able to collect their flower or have them posted to them in July, once the public display is removed.

To find out more about the Forget-Me-Not Appeal, watch the campaign video below.

Read Ann’s full story

Ann Taylor is supporting Ashgate Hospicecare’s Forget-Me-Not Appeal in memory of her ‘amazing’ brother Paul Fields, who was cared for on the hospice’s inpatient unit after being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.

“I’ll never forget the moment we first set foot in Ashgate Hospicecare with my brother Paul, it was like a huge weight had been lifted off our shoulders; we could start to breathe again.

“As we pushed him through the doors, there was a team of nurses and doctors just waiting there for him. We just looked at one another and couldn’t believe it. We instantly knew he was in the right place and I’ll always remember that huge feeling of relief.

“Paul died a week later but the love and care not only he, but our whole family, received during that short time is indescribable. You could call it ‘fantastic’ or ‘second-to-none’ but words honestly aren’t able to do it justice.”

Paul Fields, a keen motorcyclist who had been looking forward to enjoying his retirement, died in November 2018, aged 58 – just months after he was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.

Ann continues: “We had been headless chickens at home trying to care for Paul due to the complexity of his condition, but that all changed when we arrived at Ashgate.

“Ashgate just made everything so much more comfortable for him; they had the right equipment, the bed, the hoist that Paul needed. They were able to look after his personal care if we felt we couldn’t do it; there was never a big deal made of anything. They’d just say, “you go and have a cup of tea now, we’ll sort this out for you.”

“There were always so many people there on hand to help and they always had Paul’s best interests at heart. Everyone was just so committed to delivering the most excellent care they possibly could.

“One night he must have rung the bell nine or 10 times because he wasn’t comfortable, and they just came in sorted him out; there were never any complaints.

“The caring qualities that the staff at Ashgate possess, money doesn’t pay for that; you can’t learn it; they’ve just got it ingrained in them.”

Doctors told Paul he had a progressive form of Motor Neurone Disease in June, just two days after his father died.

During the months after, his family and friends did everything they could to provide him with the best possible care they could at home, but Ann admits it became increasingly difficult as his condition deteriorated. She’s grateful that Ashgate’s care allowed Paul and his family to create special memories in his final days.

“The little things made such a huge difference,” added Ann. “We were such a close family so everyone was able to come in and spend time with him. Ashgate was so accommodating to us all and we were even able to bring our dog Ted in, he was such a massive part of Paul’s life so that was really special.

“He was able to put whatever music he liked on and we’d just sit there listening to it together. He’d listen to his ballads and whaling women; I’d always joke with him about his music taste.

“I remember he put on ‘He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother’ – I turned to him sobbing my eyes out and said: “Blimey Paul, are you joking?” He just sat there laughing! We were so close; I miss him so much.”

Because of the loving care Paul and her family received, Ann is supporting Ashgate Hospicecare’s Forget-Me-Not Appeal and will be dedicating a special forget-me-not flower in his memory.

“I feel like I owe the hospice everything; I’ll be indebted to them forever. I want to do whatever I can to support them, particularly as they rely on the support of the community to fund such a huge amount of their vital services.

“That’s why I’m supporting Ashgate’s Forget-Me-Not Appeal and I’d like to invite you to do the same, so their wonderful team can be there for people like Paul when they need it most in years to come.”

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