Spring is a time of hope and new beginnings. It’s a time to think about loved ones no longer here and to keep their memory alive through sharing stories and creating memorials in their honour.

The Dragonfly Appeal will help you celebrate the life of someone special both now and in the future.

To help remember your loved one, you can donate for a handcrafted, iron dragonfly this Spring. Each dragonfly is handmade in locally by Stefanos at The Old Smithy Forge. They have a wingspan of 21cm, body length of 13cm and height of 85cm.

By making a donation you will have your very own dragonfly to place in your garden and help you remember your loved one. The first 1,000 dragonflies will go on display at Doddington Hall from 4th-19th April. By purchasing early, your keepsake dragonfly will be part of the display in a serene area of the gardens where you can go and remember your loved one.

Dragonflies are often used as a symbol of life after death. Click here to read the story of our little dragonfly…

We have a limited number of dragonflies available for purchase this year so please buy yours early to avoid disappointment.

Donate for your dragonfly here

Neil's Story

“After Dawn died, a wonderful lady gave us books with stories to help me and Sophie talk about what had happened. This included the Dragonfly story which resonated really well with Sophie.”

“We were just a normal family and were looking forward to our fantastic trip to Disney World before Dawn got ill. It was while we were away on our dream holiday that Dawn started to get really poorly. We thought it was just a stomach bug and it was only when we got home, and she went into hospital that we realised it was serious.

“Two weeks after our amazing family trip, we were given the shattering news that Dawn had stage four cancer and a few weeks later we found out her cancer had spread, and she only had months to live.

“It was at this time, Dawn went into St Barnabas Hospice for pain relief. Her condition deteriorated very quickly, and she ended up staying in the Hospice until the end of her life. The time that she was in there helped us all immensely. St Barnabas don’t just look after the patient, they make it about the wider family. Just the week before she died, we had our sixth wedding anniversary, they let me take Deefor, our dog, in to see her and we celebrated with a bottle of prosecco. It made such a difference.

“We have an Acer tree in our garden for Dawn, which helps us feel close to her. This is where our dragonfly will be going, so it can watch over Dawn for us when we’re not there. It’s so important for us to keep her memory alive and to celebrate everything that she was. She was my world and I miss her every single day. I see so much of her in Sophie and that is what keeps me going.”

Click here to read Neil’s story in full…

Twilight Tours

Join us at one of our exclusive Twilight Tours to see your dragonfly in the Doddington Hall display as the sun sets.

Each tour will feature a specially lit walk around the gardens where you will hear the tale of the dragonfly. The walk will finish at our dragonfly display where you will be treated to a hot drink as you watch each dragonfly shimmer and glow in the sunset.

It is the unique chance to experience our dragonfly display at a time when the grounds would normally be closed.

Our Wellbeing team will be there to offer free hand massages and there is the opportunity to write a message for your loved one on one of our special message tags. These tags will be placed in cherry blossom trees surrounding the display.

Twilight Tours are ticketed events and numbers are limited. Click on a date below to book your place.

SUNDAY 5TH APRIL

WEDNESDAY 8TH APRIL

SATURDAY 11TH APRIL

FRIDAY 17TH APRIL

Our sponsors

We would like to say a big thank you to our sponsors for all of their help and support with this campaign; we couldn’t have done it without them!

Thank you to the Waterside Shopping Centre for their generous contribution in covering the costs of the dragonflies. This means that more of your donation goes straight to patient care.

Thank you to Doddington Hall for providing a beautiful home for our Dragonfly display. They are providing this stunning space free of charge and also offering free entry to the hall and gardens for those who have donated for a dragonfly, and a plus one.

Thank you also to Hannah Dale of Wrendale Designs for supporting our campaign with her beautiful artwork. She has created a gorgeous dragonfly illustration just for us and the dragonfly campaign.