Hospice’s poignant floral sea tribute on an evening to remember.

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NORTH Devon Hospice is inviting people to remember their loved ones at a poignant event taking place on the seashore at Instow next month.

A specially-made raft carrying dozens of flowers will be towed out to sea by local gig boats to the sounds of gentle music and poetry, at around 5.30pm on Sunday, June 17.

In return for a donation, each orange gerbera will carry an individual message in memory of someone special.

Among those attending the Floating Bye event will be John Stanley, from Goodleigh, who has attended each year since his wife lost her battle with cancer in 2008.

He said: “Pam was cared for by North Devon Hospice and the support she received made a huge difference.

“Instow was Pam’s favourite place so it felt very fitting that the event should take place there.

“My daughter came along and we sat in the burrows watching the raft floating out to sea. It was beautiful, and the fact that our message to Pam was on that raft, along with hundreds of other flowers, gave me a very comforting feeling.”

Since attending Floating Bye for the first time, John said he had personally benefitted from coming back year after year.

“Writing a message then attaching it to a flower feels like making contact in some way, which is a nice feeling,” he said.

“There are also lots of other people there who are in the same position, so there is a very supportive atmosphere. This is just another way in which North Devon Hospice extends its support to the whole family, even long after someone has died.

“Such was the level of care we received that I promised I would return to become a volunteer at the hospice, which is exactly what I have done.

“I would encourage anyone who has lost someone, whether recently or in the past, to come along to Floating Bye because it is a special and unique experience.”

Rebecca Worth, from North Devon Hospice’s fundraising team, said this year’s event happened to fall on Father’s Day, which will make it especially poignant for some people.

She said: “There is always a very supportive atmosphere on the night. Everyone is welcome to come along, whether they have had any contact with the hospice or not.

“Even if you can’t be there on the night, we will happily place a flower and a message on the raft for you. Please do call me and I will be happy to help.”

For more information, telephone Rebecca on 01271 347204.

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