2020 was the tenth year of The Big Sunflower Project with people taking part in the UK, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Poland, Sweden, Greece, the USA, Australia and the Philippines.
As always schools and nurseries received seeds. Other recipients included home educating families, children learning from home due to coronavirus, schools that remained open to the children of key workers, NHS hospitals and medical centres, brownies, a horticultural society, a charity that supports people recovering from homelessness and addiction, an allotment project for children and adults with additional support needs, a charity which works with people who have learning disabilities and a residential home for older people with dementia. This year seeds and small plants were also given away in our local neighbourhood to spread a little happiness during a time in which happiness has been in short supply.
This year 251 places were plotted on the project map which can be seen below – click a sunflower to learn more about the people growing sunflowers in that location.
In the news
The project received some lovely publicity over the last twelve months which can be read below and we are incredibly grateful to those who have taken the time to write about what we do.
- Liverpool Echo (March 2020)
- Liverpool Echo (October 2019)
- All About Stem (January 2020)
- Chester Standard (January 2020)
- Countryside Classroom (January 2020)
- Rydal Penrhos School
We are also grateful to all the Clinical Commissioning Groups that promoted the project to their staff and on social media at the beginning of the year.
The Blakemore Foundation
In August, we were delighted to learn that we were to receive a £100 donation from the Blakemore Foundation, a charitable trust established by the Blakemore family to support good causes across A.F. Blakemore’s trading area (including the SPAR trading area.) Funding such as this is crucial to the work of The Information Point and The Big Sunflower Project, so we are hugely grateful to the Blakemore Foundation for their support.
Over 750 photos were received from 69 participants this year. Every photo received was posted on social media to raise awareness of centronuclear and myotubular myopathy and these can be viewed below.
All photos received are shared on our website and social media pages and are really important to us, as they help raise awareness of the project and of centronuclear and myotubular myopathy. They also help evidence the impact of our work.
If you grew sunflowers this summer but have not yet sent photos it is not too late and we would still love to see these. Photos can be sent by email or shared on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using #TheBigSunflowerProject.
Harvesting sunflower seeds
After a sunflower has flowered, its seeds can be harvested for planting again the following year. A single seed planted in the spring can produce many seeds in the autumn and these can be extracted from the seed head once a sunflower has dried out. Want to try saving your own seeds? You can learn how here on the project website.
Share your story
Each year we ask people who have taken part in The Big Sunflower Project to share their story. The stories help us to raise awareness of centronuclear and myotubular myopathy and again help when we apply for funding. You can read stories from previous projects below.
If you have grown sunflowers with the project this year and would be willing to write your story too, please get in touch.
This year the project celebrated its 10th anniversary – it has been a very different year to the one anticipated but we hope if you took part, you enjoyed growing your sunflowers and that they brought a little sunshine into the lives of those who grew the sunflowers and those who saw the photos.
Further information about the project can be found on here on the project website and on the project social media pages.