Meet the people who made this colourful Wigan showstopper happen
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The display in the Cherries Community garden on Wigan Lane is causing quite a stir after local florists and kind-hearted sponsors came together to make the project come to life.
Friends of the Cherries Community Garden first became involved in this project four weeks ago when Sarah Crookston, of The Rose Boutique, contacted them about her idea of a huge floral tribute to the NHS and the possibility of staging it in the garden.
Sarah said: “When lockdown first became a new part of our lives, myself along with the rest of our community watched as our NHS staff and key workers kept the borough running. They looked after us whilst facing this pandemic on the front line and for this we will be for ever grateful.
“I had been keeping in touch with some florist friends and it became apparent that we wanted to do something to say thank you, using our skills, but what?
“I then saw an installation at St Thomas’s hospital in London and that was to be our inspiration.”
So together with like-minded florists Kerry from Wild Flowers, Standish, Stacey from Perfect Daze, Pemberton, Kath from Garlands florist, Standish, Angela from A&M florist at Haigh Hall and Beth from Hedgerow Florist, Standish, the scheme began to take shape
A spokesman for the Friends group said: “When we were contacted by Sarah we immediately felt that we could run with this and what an honour it would be to host it in the community garden.
“It was equally important to us that members of the local community should also be given a chance to become involved in some way.
“So, inspired by an idea from a member of the local community Vicki Parker, we started an appeal for pom-poms.
“We then created magical, rainbow pom-pom trees, where each pom-pom is lovingly made to show the respect, love and admiration felt for all our key workers.
“The trees are a symbol of this, and in their simplicity give out such a powerful message. The pom-poms are their contributions, giving each member of the local community a chance to take part in the tribute, and to do their bit.
“However, the brainchild behind the amazing display is Sarah, and it is only because of her passion and drive that any of this has been able to happen.
“She has been ably supported by a group of other local florists, who have all worked very hard, and also with sponsorship from three prominent local businesses NR Barton, Aport, and Jewsons, who all gave generously to co-fund the project, so that it could go ahead.
“We would also like to say a big thank you to all the Wigan Council workers who very kindly donated their labour, free of charge, to design, construct and paint the structure, and also to our supportive ward councillors, Lawrence Hunt, Mike McLoughlin and George Davies for their generous contribution from Brighter Borough Funding.”
Sarah added: “We can’t thank Clare and Paul at The Cherries Community Garden enough for their encouragement and enthusiasm, it was the perfect site being so close to the hospital.
“The result is not just for NHS workers, it is for everyone in the community. If it makes you smile then it’s done its job. Please enjoy, take photos and share it.”