The installation, which features more than 1,200 hand-made ironwork hearts, is the latest display from the hospice, aiming to raise more than £100,000 to fund critical palliative and end of life care for those with terminal or life-limiting conditions.
The hospice has opened similar installations elsewhere in Lincolnshire in previous years, such as the Forget-Me-Not display at Lincoln Castle in 2019 and the Dragonfly Appeal at Doddington Hall in 2020.
Opening the display to the public, Warwick Davis said: “It’s a pleasure to unveil the Forever in our Hearts garden here at the Dean’s Green. People can donate and get a heart to remember a loved one who may have passed. All the money goes towards the hospice and keeping it running.
“I hope to continue to support St Barnabas in the work that they do. Fundraising and donations fund around 50% of St Barnabas’ running costs, so it’s very important that the fundraising continues.
“This Hospice covers the whole of Lincolnshire. The charity is very close to home and may be something that we need and rely on in the future. What you donate today could even help you in the future.”
Emma Gowland, who has helped to lead the campaign in memory of her dad, Geoff Gowland, said: “St Barnabas Hospice looked after my dad when he passed away, and they came to me to ask if I’d like to be involved in this campaign after I dedicated some wildflowers to him as part of their Wildflower Appeal last year.
“Some people might think that the care stops when someone passes away, but it doesn’t. I’ve been a massive advocate for St Barnabas ever since my dad passed, so when they asked me to take part in this campaign, there wasn’t even a second thought; I just said yes.
“In a weird way, seeing it all brings happy emotions. It really shows you how many people St Barnabas has helped. I think I’ll be coming here every weekend.”
Holly Eyre, Fundraising Development Manager, said: “We’ve placed more than 1,200 hearts; they mean a lot to all those who have donated in memory of their loved ones and it’s a beautiful tribute to have them all on display in the Dean’s Green at Lincoln Cathedral.
“The hearts will be here until the 18th of April, open during the normal daytime hours of the Cathedral. The display is open for members of the public to visit and pay respects until then.”
The suggested donation for a heart is £35.54, the equivalent to one hour of specialist inpatient care at the Hospice. Anyone can dedicate a heart regardless of whether their loved ones received hospice care or not. The hearts measure 18cm x 95cm and are handmade locally by Stefanos at The Old Smithy. Hearts purchased now will be available for collection beginning in June.
To dedicate a heart in memory of a loved one or to find out more about the appeal, visit www.stbarnabashospice.co.uk/foreverhearts.
St Barnabas Hospice is a local independent charity and every year they support more than 10,500 people across Lincolnshire. They deliver free, high-quality, compassionate end-of-life care and support to people living with a life-limiting or terminal illness, their family and carers. St Barnabas offers the patient and their family hospice care and support via: specialist inpatient care, care at home, day therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, complementary therapy, welfare advice and bereavement support. All the services are free. St Barnabas needs to raise over £6m a year to provide its support and care. Over 900 volunteers play a crucial role in the charity’s success.