HOURS of painstaking work creating 725 handmade roses meant a beautiful tribute was unveiled to mark Rowans Hospice’s 25th anniversary.
Created by local artist Jamie Cullimore, the sculpture was revealed at a special event today at Rookesbury Park in Wickham to thank long-standing supporters, staff and volunteers of the hospice.
The tin roses are on public display until Wednesday, each of which includes 25 petals to mark each year the Rowans has been open.
Staff who have been at the hospice since the beginning were recognised for their service, including Erika Lipscombe, director of clinical services, and Jenny Redman, director of quality, who started as nurses 25 years ago.
Jenny said: ‘It’s hard to believe how quickly it’s gone. We’re constantly growing, changing and looking at what needs to be done next. I’m very proud to be part of it.
‘We don’t often look at what we have achieved so this whole year has been taking the time to celebrate, it’s amazing.’
A celebration cake was created for the hospice by navy chef Jon Borham who has baked for royalty, with ingredients purchased by officers of the wardroom on HMS Queen Elizabeth.
Ruth White, Rowans’ chief executive, expressed her gratitude to the community. She said: ‘To be working for Rowans 25 years on since we first opened our doors is a privilege and an honour. Rowans is such a special place that is predominantly thanks to the community we serve.
‘As we mark our 25th anniversary, we want to pay thanks to the group of nurses from Somerstown Health Centre in 1972 who identified the need for a hospice in Portsmouth and South East Hampshire. In addition to giving thanks to every single person who has supported the hospice, in whatever way they can, since.’
An anniversary service will also be held at Portsmouth Cathedral, High Street, Old Portsmouth on Sunday, November 17 at 2pm.
Open to everyone in the community, the event will include an address by the Rev Christopher Foster, Bishop and patron of Rowans Hospice, followed by light refreshments in the David Bawtree Building at Portsmouth Grammar School.
To find out more or to buy a hand-crafted rose from the display, visit rowanshospice.co.uk.