Green charity ‘Floral Angels’ – a novel way of re-cycling flowers.
Sitting at a wedding or a charity event have you ever wondered what eventually happens to the floral decorations? The chances are that their final destiny is to be dumped into a landfill site. Three cheers for the imaginative ‘green’ charity ‘Floral Angels’ www.floralangels.com that restyles donated flowers from events, weddings, florists and retailers into bouquets and delivers them to a multitude of hospices, women’s shelters, palliative care centres and care homes.
It is a brilliant solution and Frances Hunter, Amanda Romain and Julie Ritter must be applauded for their initiative. Flowers have a positive effect on people. What can seem a small gesture – a smile, a few words and a small bouquet – can absolutely make a difference.’
Set up in April 2013 to date Floral Angels have delivered nearly 3,000 bouquets. Frances, Amanda and Julie met on a floristry course in London two years ago but having decided that they were ‘too long in the tooth’ to become florists they began to think of a way of combinging their love of flowers with giving ‘something back’. ‘We were appalled by the waste of what we call ‘lightly used flowers’ and discovered Larsen Jay of Random Acts of Flowers www.randomactsofflowers.org based in Knoxville, Tennessee. Happily the trio were able to meet him when he was on holiday in England. He casually offered them an invitation to visit him in the Deep South. ‘He never thought for a moment we would take it up but we did’ says Amanda. Adding ‘Larsen was very open and generous with his advice’.
Like many business, (Laura Ashley springs to mind), Floral Angels began operating from a kitchen table. They now work from premises in Covent Garden Flower Market sponsored by Chrysal UK www.chrysal.co.uk Brides contact them as well as several florists including, Shane Connolly www.shaneconnolly.co.uk Pinstripes and Peonies, www.pinstripesandpeonies.com retailers and the florist, Simon Lycett www.simonlycett.co.uk introduced them to event organisers Pollen Crew www.pollencrew. co.uk who regularly drop off flowers from events.
‘We begin by de-constructing the arrangements, throwing out the dead blooms before conditioning what is left by chopping off the stems and stripping the leaves. Next a team of volunteers (there is a waiting list of more than 40 people hoping to sign up) restyle the flowers into bouquets or table arrangements. Obviously ‘every single session is different’. Happily Floral Angels are donated lots of vases but they like to recycle jam jars and tins as ‘it doesn’t matter if we never get them back’.
Floral Angels regularly deliver bouquets to five hospices, thirty five Elderly Care Homes, Women’s Shelters in London and the Greater London area as well as Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital www.gosh.nhs.uk and Royal Hospital, Chelsea www.chelsea-pensioners.co.uk. ‘We try to ensure it is a very personal service. The recipients are stunned and they begin tell us what they used to grow in their gardens. Sometimes we give the bouquets to the carers or nurses themselves as they deserve a bit of recognition’.
Apart from the winning idea of Floral Angels what is equally impressive is the sponsorship behind the charity: it seems every aspect of the charity which is run 100% by volunteers is sponsored from the van to the cellophane cutter to the website to the premises. This is surely a tribute to the charm and energy of the trio. There is a donation button on the website, so please support this wonderful charity and click on it now. Hurrah for Floral Angels.