Stunning pictures show city bathed in yellow for St Benedict's Hospice Sunflower Day

Sunderland said hello to yellow as landmarks across the city were bathed in light. These stunning photographs show how some of Wearside’s best features looked on Sunflower Day.

Sunday, 21st June 2020, 4:14 pm
Updated Sunday, 21st June 2020, 5:08 pm

The second annual Sunflower Day, on Friday, June 19, raised awareness for St Benedict’s Hospice in Ryhope, which relies on donations. Around one in three people in the city, be it themselves, a relative or a friend, have benefited at some point from the crucial palliative care it provides.

For Sunflower Day 2020 landmarks including the Northern Spire, Penshaw Monument and Keel Square were spectacularly lit in vibrant sunflower yellow, the charity’s adopted colour.

Photographer Michael Naisbitt captured the images of some of Sunderland’s best known sites and has shared them with the Echo.

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Penshaw Monument as seen on Sunflower Day. Picture by Michael Naisbitt.

The hospice lost hundreds of thousands of pounds when planned fundraising events were cancelled to limit the spread of Covid-19. Its shops were only allowed to reopen on June 15.

A live broadcast, Sunflower Day Live, was streamed for 12 hours on YouTube and Facebook.

But this was only part of a day of activity which included A Question of Sport featuring local sports stars, Q & A sessions with actress Denise Welch and Sunderland climber Alan Hinkes, pilates with Sunderland-born Calendar Girl Tricia Stewart, live music and live classes.

Other activities included window posters, cake making, yoga, a brass band and “Boogie with Benedict Bear” - the charity’s mascot.

The Northern Spire bridge as seen on Sunflower Day. Picture by Michael Naisbitt.

People taking part were encouraged to wear yellow while working from home and to share online in the virtual fundraising events.

Anthony McDermott, head of marketing at St Benedict’s, said: “Sunflower Day is eagerly anticipated this year after the runaway success of last year’s event.

“We are so grateful to everyone across the region for their continued support and it’s important that through events like this, we share the story of what hospices do exactly and why they are so important to people in the local communities.”

The 2019 Sunflower Day raised £8,000, helping support services including a 14 bed in-patient unit, a day care service, a fully funded transport service, a lymphoedema clinic, the community services team, specialist palliative care teams, counselling services and more.

Keel Square as seen on Sunflower Day. Picture by Michael Naisbitt.

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Sunderland Magistrates' Court as seen on Sunflower Day. Picture by Michael Naisbitt.

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High Street West as seen on Sunflower Day. Picture by Michael Naisbitt.