Recycled rose installation opens at Swindon hospice

A sea of brightly-coloured roses made using recycled aluminium cans is now blanketing a hospice garden.

A thousand of the ornaments have been used to make up a new display at Prospect Hospice in Wroughton, near Swindon.

Every rose was handmade at a workshop in Cornwall and sponsored by the loved ones of past residents at the hospice.

The installation opened on Saturday, 9 September and will be on show for three weeks.

Director of patient services Carolyn Bell said: "The installation is a special way for the community to remember and celebrate the lives of loved ones who are no longer with us".

"What better place for it to be held than in the hospice garden before people take them home?

"The display will be stunning and incredibly poignant - it's moving to think each one has been dedicated in memory of someone across Swindon and north east Wiltshire."

The revenue raised from the sale of each rose will support the ongoing work of the hospice, which has been operating in Swindon and north east Wiltshire since 1980 in the area.

It costs around £8m a year to run the Prospect Hospice with around 25 per cent of the funding coming from the NHS. The remaining £6m comes from donations, fundraising and gifts in wills.

Chris Beardsmore is the owner & creator of Forever Blooms Metal Petals, the Cornwall-based workshop which used the recycled aluminium to create the ornamental roses.

He said: "It was a daunting prospect, because we've never made that number before.

"It was very fulfilling, because every single rose represents a person and every single rose has a small name plaque. For us it was a really moving experience, we never really expected that.

"When the team at Prospect House laid them all out in the garden and I saw them for the first time, I was really emotional.

"I feel very privileged to have helped put something together that represents Prospect House and the work that they do, but it represents those people as well."

Forever Blooms Metal Petals creates roses for various charities, including Hounds For Heroes and South Western Ambulance Service Trust, which are then sold on to raise funds.

Mr Beardsmore said that the company started out of his frustration at seeing litter washed up on Cornish beaches.

"One thing which was the probably the most reusable was aluminium, in the form of cans, tins, whatever it would be.

"It was a lightbulb moment where I wondered if I could make a flower. After many failed attempts, I came up with my own design, which created the perfect rose."

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