Sunflower trail raised more than £15,000 for baby unit at DCH

SUNFLOWERS helped raise more than £15,000 to help Dorset County Hospital’s (DCH) Special Care Baby Unit.

Each year, Maiden Castle Farm hosts a Sunflower Summer Spectacle – including the famous Sunflower Trail – in aid of the department at the Dorchester hospital.

And the 2023 event raised a total of £15,400 for the cause, which was handed over by Hazel Hoskin – who runs the event with husband, Richard.

After three years of fundraising for the cause, the total raised now stands at £47,000.

Both of Hazel and Richards’ sons spent time in the Special Care Baby Unit when they were born.

“The care given by the staff of the unit was exceptional at a very stressful time for the family,” the couple said.

“Now that the boys have reached adulthood, it is nice to feel we can give something back to the Special Care Baby Unit as well as create an event with Summer Sunflower sunshine for the local community.”

Dorchester Town Council also took on the Sunflower Theme over the summer, with many town businesses also contributing to the success of the event.

“The Dorset Sunflower Trail would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who participated in the Summer of Sunflowers and all those who visited the Trail,” Hazel and Richard added.

The money raised from this years’ Sunflower Trail is going to be used to refurbish the family rooms at the unit.

And Hazel said she vividly remembers this using the area and knows the importance of the facility to help with the parent and baby bonding.

Meanwhile, planning continues for the 2024 Sunflower Trail.

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I am the editor in chief of Blackmore Vale media, which includes the New Blackmore Vale, New Stour & Avon, Salisbury & Avon Gazette and the Purbeck Gazette, having been a reporter for some 20 years. In my spare time, I am a festival lover, with a particular focus on Glastonbury. I live in Somerset with my wife and two children.