This week, in between last week's Volunteers' Week and next week's British Flowers Week, is Carers Week. It is an awareness campaign to draw attention to carers in the UK and the unpaid, vital work they do, which is estimated to save the economy £119 billion each year. Several organisations have worked together for this year's Carers Week: Age UK, Carers UK, Carers Trust, Independent Age, Macmillan, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Multiple Sclerosis Society, Parkinson's UK, Skills for Care, and Stroke Association.
I volunteer as a counsellor at two organisations - one is a local carers association, and the other (pending the results of my role play assessment last week) will be at a local hospice. I will be taking flowers and seedlings to the carers association next week as a belated gift for Carers Week and in celebration of British Flowers Week.
Today I took some posies to the hospice. The receptionist, who did her volunteer training with me, was delighted with them. She could smell the roses (which won't last long in this heat, but hey - I'd rather these than unscented supermarket flowers) and I could smell the mint as I took them out of their packaging for her. Hopefully they brought a smile to some people at the hospice - carers, patients, workers and volunteers.
I used lots of wonderfully-scented herbs: pineapple, lavender, orange and Moroccan mints, white and lavender-pink flowering lemon thyme, and lemon balm (aka Melissa). I also used the first of the jasmine flowers, as well as sweet peas, nigella flowers and seedpods, cornflowers, roses, hot pink escallonia, and my first dahlia - a pale rose flower which I bought from Shannon's Garden Centre partly for its name 'Genova'. Genova is a film by Michael Winterbottom about a widower (played by Colin Firth; it's my second-favourite Colin Firth role after his portrayal of a grieving partner in A Single Man) dealing with his bereavement and his daughters'. It wasn't planned, but it seems fitting that my first 'Genova' dahlia has gone to a hospice.