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Name: Sunflower Memories Appeal

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Sunflower Memories Appeal

Celebrate the people you love and fill your garden with sunflowers this summer whilst helping The Kirkwood Support Life.


After a year of challenges and uncertainty, we are delighted to be launching our 2021 Sunflower Memories Appeal.

Nothing symbolises Summer like the sunflower. And as the days grow longer and warmer weather approaches, our Sunflower Memories Appeal will pay tribute to those whose lives continue to mean so much to us.

Make a dedication on our online page and receive a commemorative card bearing the name of those you choose to celebrate, along with a pack of sunflower seeds so you can watch your sunflower grow and flower throughout the summer months.

You can add personal messages and photos of cherished memories to your online dedication, and invite friends and family to view the page.

By dedicating a sunflower, you will be helping The Kirkwood Support Life for anyone affected by a life limiting illness in every town and village across Kirklees.

To make a dedication, simply click the button below.

Alternatively, you can also take part by calling our friendly Fundraising Team on: 01484 557911 and making a dedication over the phone or requesting a paper form to be sent to you.


June Hirst, of Kirkheaton, took part in our Sunflower Memories Appeal last year in memory of her special husband, Martin Hirst, who spent 10 years as The Kirkwood’s first Caretaker following the opening of the In-Patient Unit in 1987.

June Hirst and her husband Martin Hirst were married for 57 years, living in Lepton for most of their marriage before moving to Kirkheaton in 2013 to be nearer their daughter.

Martin was 55 years old when he took up the role of Caretaker on The Kirkwood’s In-Patient Unit in Dalton when it first opened its doors over 34 years ago.

Reflecting on Martin’s time with The Kirkwood, June said: “Martin started work at the age of 14 and he really had no choice as to where he could work. He grew up in Skelmanthorpe and as he was the eldest of his family, he was sent to work in Denby Dale as an apprentice in a garage.

“He went onto owning his own garage in Moldgreen but decided to sell it and applied for the Caretaker role at the hospice in Dalton. It was the best thing he ever did, and he said it was the happiest 10 years of his working life before he retired at 65.

“Martin did everything, he was a real handyman there. He was the sort of man that everybody liked. And he was spoilt at the hospice too. He would have hot drinks ready for him when he arrived, and the volunteers were always bringing him cakes for his morning coffee and afternoon tea.

“He would sit and talk to the patients on the In-Patient Unit and fetch them things from the local shop. He was always busy. He worked with a group of volunteers on the garden and for the first few years they were developing it from just rough ground. I like to think he planted the large beech tree whenever I visit.”

After many years of happy retirement, travelling the world with June, Martin fell ill and sadly died at St. James’ hospital in 2015.

“Martin died during the night at St. James’ hospital, he was all set to be moved down to the In-Patient Unit the following day, but he didn’t make it. I was so sad that he didn’t end his time there – it was too late.” June added.

Back in July last year, June joined hundreds of others across Kirklees and beyond in celebrating the life of their loved one at home. Taking part in our Sunflower Memories Appeal is an important way for June to pay tribute to Martin, in a way that supports a charity close to her husband’s heart.


We would love to be able to welcome everyone who takes part in the appeal to our gardens this July to see your loved one’s name displayed on its own sunflower plaque, but the ongoing coronavirus pandemic means we are unsure whether this will be possible. We'll be updating this page with information should things change, and any announcements will be shared over on our social media pages.

For more information on our Sunflower Memories Appeal, get in touch with our friendly Fundraising team on: 01484 557911 or email: events@thekirkwood.org.uk

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