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Woolton Field of Hope

Daffodil Day
After a donation of daffodils from the bulb growers, Geest, Keith Dunn, fund-raiser for the Marie Curie Centre, Woolton, conceived the idea to use them as part of the fund-raising campaign for the construction of a new Marie Curie Centre that was to be built at the rear of the existing, but inadequate, building, formerly the Liverpool Police Orphanage. The bulbs were used to decorate every theatre in the city centre, as well as the Liverpool Philharmonic, restaurants and to greet visitors at Liverpool Airport, Speke (now Liverpool John Lennon Airport). Daffodil Day, as it became known, commenced on 4th April 1986, and bulbs were sold in and around Liverpool in exchange for a donation to add to the funds the organisers already had.

Official logo
Daffodil Day proved so successful that it was adopted nationally by the Marie Curie organisation in 1989 and the daffodil was adopted as their official logo. In 1995 they issued their first synthetic daffodil in return for a donation.

Field of Hope
Taking Daffodil Day a stage further, Keith Dunn conceived the idea to have a Field of Hope, to be planted with daffodils, which was organised by the Marie Curie and done with the full approval of Liverpool City Council. In 1990 one million daffodils were planted in Sefton Park. The following year (Spring, 1991) Sefton Park, looked quite spectacular! Another Field of Hope of half a million daffodil bulbs was planted in 1991 in Stanley Park, sponsored by (Professor) Rex Makin and his son Robin. In 1992 they also sponsored a Field of Hope of 100,000 daffodils planted in Clarke Gardens, Allerton, at the junction of Springwood Avenue and Woolton Road, supported by the people of Liverpool for the benefit of the community. This field was planted by Liverpool City Council, promoted by the Liverpool Weekly Newspaper Group. The Field of Hope idea was adopted nationally by the Marie Curie and has proved a resounding success as a fund raiser and Fieldís of Hope are now growing all across Liverpool and throughout the country.

Woolton Field of Hope - 1
It will probably be a surprise to many to learn that the Field of Hope sponsored by the Woolton in Bloom committee on the 8th November 2004 wasnít the first Field of Hope in Woolton, or on Kings Drive! Norma Richardson, of Gateacre Park Drive, found she had more time, and less money, to give to charities when she retired so she adopted two charities, one animal and one human. For the Marie Curie she started an annual lunch, which was very successful for a number of years until support dwindled as they all got older! Their first lunch was in memory of neighbour Josie Charles, mother of actor Craig Charles of Red Dwarf fame. Subsequent lunches, and other fund-raising efforts, have raised thousands of pounds for the Marie Curie Centre, Woolton.

Normaís Field of Hope is located on the small plot of land at the front of the drive-in dry cleaners (AC Drive In Cleaners, Kings Drive, at its junction with Hunts Cross Avenue) then owned by her sons friend, Paul Andrews, who generously agreed to let Norma use the land having lost his father to cancer. Fund-raising commenced in May 1997 and by October this same year local helpers and volunteers consisting of Knowsley Rangers, Scouts and Boys Brigade from St. James Methodist & United Reformed Church, Church Road South, and candidates of the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme at Knowsley Hey Comprehensive School, Huyton, had planted 2,000 bulbs. The event raised £835 for the Marie Curie.

Woolton Field of Hope - 2
In 2004, a unanimous decision was made by the Woolton in Bloom committee, as part of Woolton in Bloom, to sponsor a Field of Hope for the Marie Curie Centre, Woolton. Supported by Moorcrofts Solicitors, Glendales (ground maintenance) and Woolton traders, over 20,000 daffodil bulbs were planted on the central reservation of Kings Drive, alongside the side exit of the Marie Curie Centre.

On the 8th November a token planting was done by our joint chairs, Liberal Democrat Councillors Barbara Mace and Barbara Collinge, and Gill Dunn, wife of the late Keith Dunn, creator of the Field of Hope concept, and pupils from St. Francis Xavier and St. Benedictís colleges. A Field of Hope sign was formally unveiled jointly by the Woolton in Bloom committee Patronís, Sarah Jones, wife of the Bishop of Liverpool, and Shirley Makin, wife of Professor E Rex Makin. The amount raised for the Marie Curie was over £3,000.







Last updated :: December 2006
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