Eastbourne DGH’s Friends Flower Shop first opened its doors in 1986, raising a huge £5.5 million for the town’s hospital over the past 30 years.
Back in the 8os, the staff were largely made up of doctor’s wives with the help of other ladies who were interested in being involved.
The shop was open every day and did a good trade having little competition from supermarkets and petrol stations and there was no restriction on flowers being taken into the wards.
Alongside grapes, flowers were a popular gift to take to someone who was spending some time in hospital.
However, the shop has had to adapt over the years.
Ann Wilson, secretary of the Friends of the Eastbourne Hospital, said, “Things are very different now.
“Hospital stays are much reduced and wards do not allow fresh flowers onto the wards for infection control purposes.
“The closure of the maternity department had quite a big impact and the number of commercial outlets selling flowers has increased so competition is much greater.”
Despite the changes, the talented ladies have found new ways to promote the flower shop and continue to work hard to ensure it thrives.
They can regularly be found at fetes and open days around the town and in the Arndale centre.
They currently supply flowers to the hospital chapel, A&E, hospital reception and some wards are happy to have silk flower arrangements.
They are also regularly asked to prepare presentation baskets and boxes for local events where the mayor or a dignitary will be present.
Funeral Flowers are a recent addition to their range and these can be delivered to the funeral director by one of our volunteers.
All occasions can be celebrated with flowers and the ladies will be very happy to help you decide what you would like included in competitively priced fresh or silk bouquets.
There is 30 minutes free parking in the hospital car park for anyone who wants to visit.
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