Schoolchildren honour teaching assistant at Sunderland hospice's Sunflower Day

A pot of thanks was given by schoolchildren as they paid tribute to their teaching assistant.

By Fiona Thompson
Friday, 28 June, 2019, 11:45
St Patrick's Primary School flower pot donation to St Benedict's Hospice in memory of Nicola Smith with daughter Jessica Smith, front.

Pupils from St Patrick’s Primary School in Ryhope joined in Sunflower Day, which was held by St Benedict’s Hospice and Centre for Palliative Care to highlight its work and raise funds.

They presented a sunflower to the hospice in memory of teaching assistant Nicola Smith, who died of cancer in September and was given care by the hospice team.

St Patrick's Primary teaching assistant Nicola Smith, who died last September.

The children were accompanied by Nicola’s daughter Jessica Smith and grandson Nico Naimiq, who was born just a few days before his grandmother’s death.

Caroline Fairrington, on behalf of the school, said: “Pupils from the school wore brightly coloured clothes, donated money and made a beautiful planter to donate to the hospice.

“This was a special day for St Patrick’s as we supported the hospice in memory of Nicola.

“She worked at St Patrick’s for many years and supported many children in her care over this time.

Jessica Smith with son Nico Namiq at St Benedict's Hospice in memory of her mother Nicola Smith on hospice's Sunflower Day.

“She is fondly remembered and is sadly missed.”

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Lisa Peverley, community fundraiser for the hospice, added: “It is great to see the younger generation get involved with the hospice and really understand what it is about.”

Sunflower Day saw companies, groups and a host of schools hold wear yellow days, bake sales and raffles, while Wearside landmarks were lit up in yellow and a ball was hosted at Ramside Hall.

The celebration will come to a close on Saturday, June 29, with a fair and afternoon tea at the hospice from noon to 3pm.

Jenni Cahill gives her support to St Benedict's Hospice Sunflower awareness day.

Head of fundraising operations at St Benedict’s, Catrina Flynn, said: “We know that many thousands of pounds will have been raised from our Sunflower Appeal and as 2019 is the 35th anniversary of the founding of St Benedict’s Hospice it is so fabulous to see how well loved the hospice is to the people of Sunderland and district.

“This money is so important, as without this tremendous support we would not be able to offer the wide range of services to our patients and their families that are available both in the hospice itself and in the

wider community.”

St Benedict's Hospice Sunflower awareness day saw people across Sunderland wear yellow for the day.
St Benedict's Hospice Sunflower awareness day with Catrina Flynn with metal garden sunflowers