Sunflower Display Shows Solidarity With Ukraine

Posted on: Tuesday, January 10, 2023

A swathe of bright blooms is hoping to show the district’s solidarity with Ukraine and friendship with its people this month. The display, part of Newark and Sherwood District Council’s Friendship Sunflowers Project, is now open at Southwell Minster and features scores of the yellow flowers, the national flower of Ukraine, which have been handmade by local people.

Collated into an eye-catching piece by artist Sarah Manton, the 171 flowers range from felted creations made both by Vale View Craft Group and in free workshops with artists Eve Marshall and Elaine Winter, to patchworks by Southwell U3A Patchwork Group and sunflowers knitted by the Knit and Natter Group at Ollerton Methodist Church.

Councillor Tim Wendels, Portfolio Holder for Homes and Health at Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “We hope this beautiful display symbolises the wonderful welcome and kindness that our residents have given to refugees fleeing Ukraine and continues to mark the district’s solidarity with the country as it faces such a difficult time. Newark and Sherwood has responded amazingly to the Government’s Homes for Ukraine initiative and I’m hugely proud that 139 sponsors have stepped forward across our district, offering homes to over 400 Ukrainian guests.”

Dozens of residents of all ages attended free sunflower-making workshops organised by the District Council in August to acknowledge Ukrainian Independence Day – usually a National Holiday and day of celebration in the country. Workshops were held at the Lifespring Centre in Ollerton, the National Civil War Centre, Sconce and Devon Park, Bilsthorpe Heritage Museum, Vicar Water Country Park and Sherwood Forest Arts and Crafts Centre.

The Friendship Sunflowers display will be at Southwell Minster with free admission until Friday 10 February.