Sunflowers funds bloom at Christmas event

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Sunflowers support people living with cancer in Liverpool. Pic © Nadia Breen JMU Journalism

A Christmas Fair has taken place in Merseyside to raise funds for people with cancer and their families.

Sunflowers on Aigburth Road organised the fundraiser to help the centre to stay open. It is a local charity which provides unique support for anyone affected by a cancer diagnosis.

The fair was part of their Christmas campaign, where they ask members of the public to pay £10 for a knitted sunflower, write a message on it and place it on their tree. This money will pay for one hour towards someone’s rehabilitation.

Emma Squibb, Project Manager at Sunflowers, told JMU Journalism: “We do not get any funding from the NHS or anywhere else. All of the income we have is raised from public donations in one way or another and events like this.

“We are very grateful for all the stallholders who volunteered and most of them are regular supporters of our charity. We do not have budgets for marketing and little charities like this are forgotten about.

“All charities like Sunflowers across the country are struggling to stay open due to the cuts to health budgets.”

Twitter: Nadia Breen

Bobby Magee, Development Manager at Sunflowers, says events like this are a great chance for services users to get together.

He told JMU Journalism: “We usually make £400 on a single stall from just selling cake so every effort helps. It gets people off the street to come into the building and see what work we do.

“When you think of a cancer centre you may think it is unwelcoming so it is nice that people can come in and see that it is a vibrant place. It costs us around £10,000 a month to run the centre, which isn’t much when you help as many people as we do.”

Emily McKeown who is a regular service user at Sunflowers. Pic © Nadia Breen JMU Journalism

Stallholder Emily McKeown is a cancer survivor who says Sunflowers was an amazing help during her journey.

She told JMU Journalism: “I have been coming to Sunflowers since June last year. I had cancer in April of last year and want to do anything I can to help here. It was an amazing help for me and my family and the first time we came here was not overwhelming at all.

“The pilates classes here really helped me get back to fitness.”

Sunflowers offers counselling services, exercise classes and massages to support over 700 people a year who have cancer.

About Nadia Breen, JMU Journalism