Chapel-en-le-Frith man backs hospice appeal in memory of late wife

Mike Harrison, from Chapel-en-le-Frith, has planted a sunflower in memory of his beloved wife.
Mike Harrison, from Chapel-en-le-Frith, has planted a sunflower in memory of his beloved wife.

A Chapel-en-le-Frith man has thrown his support behind a fundraising appeal for a hospice which supported him “in some of my darkest days”.

The Sunflower Memories Appeal is a special month-long celebration by Blythe House Hospicecare which gives an opportunity for people to make a donation in memory of someone special.

Mike Harrison with his beloved wife, Pat, who died in March 2018.

Mike Harrison with his beloved wife, Pat, who died in March 2018.

The garden at the Chapel-en-le-Frith hospice will be transformed into a sea of bright yellow sunflower plaques throughout May, showcasing the names of loved ones across the High Peak, Hope Valley and beyond.

Mike Harrison has planted a sunflower in memory of his beloved wife Pat, who died in March 2018.

He said: “I am proud to plant a sunflower in the Blythe House garden to celebrate the memory of my dear wife, Pat.

“I also wanted to donate towards the wonderful services that supported me in some of my darkest days following Pat’s death, and that continue to support me.”

Mike set up the High Peak Prostate Cancer Support Group in 2010 after being diagnosed with prostate cancer three years earlier.

As well as being heavily involved in the group for many years now, the 77-year-old has also benefitted from other Blythe House services including counselling, the carers support group and complimentary therapies.

He explained: “I was the main carer for my wife before she died, and coming along to Blythe House, I was able to have the opportunity to relax, unwind, give and receive support from local people in similar situations to myself.

“It was so worthwhile and made me feel so much less isolated.

“Following Pat’s death, and after all of the important tasks were complete like registering her death and organising the funeral, I honestly did wake up one morning and wondered what on earth I was going to do with myself, and what my purpose in life was anymore.

“Grief has been so very painful, I’ve been in some very dark places but Blythe House has been absolutely immense.

“I’ve been having counselling sessions and they have given me my quality of life back. I have been able to speak the unspoken, and get stuff off my chest. The sessions have really helped me to rediscover what my life is and how to enjoy it again.”

He added: “My story epitomises what Blythe House can offer to everyone – I am living proof for both patients and carers; Blythe House has been family to me, and has saved my life.”

There are a number of ways for people to take part in Blythe House’s Sunflower Memories Appeal.

Leaflets are available at the Blythe House reception, or at any of the hospice’s shops in Buxton, Chapel-en-le-Frith, Whaley Bridge or New Mills.

A form can also be downloaded from the Blythe House website at blythehousehospice.org.uk/sunflower-memories-appeal-2019.

Alternatively, call 01298 815388 or donate online via www.justgiving.com/campaign/sunflower.