A very poignant event in memory of lost loved ones will be held at Instow on Sunday, July 14.

Clive Hunt takes part in Floating Bye in memory of his wife Nan, who passed away at North Devon Hospice. Picture: NDHClive Hunt takes part in Floating Bye in memory of his wife Nan, who passed away at North Devon Hospice. Picture: NDH

The annual Floating Bye event on behalf of North Devon Hospice invites people to place a special message and a flower dedicated to a loved one on a wicker raft which is then gently towed out to sea.

The flowers placed on the raft are orange gerberas, which create a colourful sight when hundreds of them are all placed together.

It is always a solemn but also uplifting occasion and the hospice hopes as many people as possible will take part again this year - those unable to attend can still have a flower placed on their behalf by following the contact details below.

This year Floating Bye is sponsored by Heritage Cob and Lime and the raft will be towed as ever by the Taw and Torridge pilot gig clubs.

Floating Bye is a stirring and poignant occasion that takes place on Instow beach every year for North Devon Hospice. Picture: NDHFloating Bye is a stirring and poignant occasion that takes place on Instow beach every year for North Devon Hospice. Picture: NDH

Robyn Tregaskes, from the hospice's fundraising team, said: "There is such a supportive atmosphere on Instow beach for Floating Bye.

"Everyone there is remembering somebody who is no longer with us, but it is very much a celebration of life and a celebration of those we love. With the music and the flowers the mood is always so upbeat, and it is a beautiful sight to see the raft gently drifting out in to the water.

"It doesn't matter whether you have lost someone recently or a long time ago, or whether or not they were cared for by the hospice."

One person who knows the benefits of Floating Bye is Clive Hunt of Fremington.

Clive has attended the event every year for the last 12 years, originally with his wife Nan, who he now remembers at Floating Bye after she died at North Devon Hospice in 2013.

He said: "It is such a unique way to remember someone you love. The atmosphere created by the choir is very supportive and knowing that we are all there for the same reason reduces the isolation that grief can bring.

"The care that our local hospice provides is so essential and the thought that they put into organising Floating bye is really touching.

"I meet people every year, some who have been cared for by our hospice, but many others who have been affected by grief in other ways. It really brings our community together."

Those wishing to attend are asked to arrive on Instow beach from 4.30pm on July 14, with the raft set to be floated out at 5.30pm.

If you cannot attend but would still like a flower to be placed in memory of a loved one, please contact Robyn Tregaskes on 01271 347232 or email robyntregaskes@northdevonhospice.org.uk.