Three mothers and a wife who have all watched their loved ones battle to rebuild their lives, got together to design four beautiful bouquets to raise money for the wounded.
Sheena Preston (Norfolk), Cheryl Hall (Essex), Lorraine Jackson (Lincolnshire) and Barbara Luther-Davies (Lancashire) each designed a bouquet which has a special meaning for them personally, choosing both the flowers and the name of their bouquet. In each case their son or husband sustained injuries or illness while serving with the British Armed Forces.
Sheena, Cheryl, Lorraine and Barbara are all members of the Help for Heroes Band of Sisters fellowship; a network which has provided support and opportunities to meet others who understand what it’s like to care for their loved ones, giving the opportunity to mutually support each other. Remembering her first meeting, Sheena, whose husband was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder following a tour in Iraq, says: “That first evening we all sat there together sharing our stories and cried. For the first time I didn’t feel alone.”
Sheena’s bouquet is called ‘Blooms of Support’ in tribute to the fellowship. She chose pink flowers to reflect the group’s famous hoodies: “I like bright pink and it’s ‘our’ colour. It’s a big bunch of us that come together to support each other.”
The ladies were fully involved in the whole process; from picking their flowers and making up their initial arrangements, to choosing the name and approving the final designs; working with Flying Flowers which is supporting the Charity with their Help for Heroes range.
Cheryl’s basket arrangement ‘Stronger Together’ is a tribute to the strength of her family, the Band of Sisters and the Military Wives Choir – of which she is a member and which is an important part of her own support network. The flowers Cheryl chose all have a special meaning for her; the Nightingale Rose for the songs ‘A Nightingale sang in Berkley Square’ and ‘The Rose’, the Thistle in memory of her Scottish grandfather as well as representing the purple of the Military Wives Choir.
Lorraine’ bouquet, ‘Glorious Spirit’ is inspired by this amazing strength shown by her stepson Curtis who was wounded in a mortar attack in Afghanistan in 2010. The bouquet features freesias, roses and the colour purple: “The bouquet I made is vibrant and, like Curtis, is full of life. I’m full of admiration for his get up and go attitude. He is just amazing. He’s the most wonderful young man, father and husband.”
Like the other members of the team, she hopes the public will buy the flowers to support other families of the wounded, injured and sick.For ‘At Ease’ Barbara chose flowers with soft colours that are easy on the eye and reminiscent of a traditional country garden in a deliberate contrast to how her son described the barren landscape of Afghanistan. When she first saw her son in hospital she remembers, “As I put my hand out to touch him, in my head I was saying to him ‘at ease, soldier’. I wanted to let him know that he could relax now, his tour was over and he had done his bit.”
The Help for Heroes range can be seen at www.flowersforheroes.co.uk. Flying Flowers (part of Interflora) is supporting Help for Heroes by donating 15% of the sale price on all flowers across their range purchased through the Flowers for Heroes website.
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