There’s no better way to say it than with flowers. Which is exactly why NAFAS (The National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies) is using beautiful little bunches to spread some love around the UK on National Flower Arranging Day (Friday 1st May 2015). The charity plans to distribute over 60,000 bouquets across the UK embracing ‘The Lonely Bouquet’ concept for the second year in a row.
The campaign has been supported by a host of celebrities including ALAN TITCHMARSH, JAMIE OLIVER, LULU, KIMBERLY WYATT, ESTHER RANTZEN, CHRISTINE WALKDEN, JOE SWIFT, AMANDA LAMB and SINITTA.
“The Lonely Bouquet’ is a kind of goodwill gesture that involves leaving a bouquet in a public place to be picked up by an unsuspecting passerby. The motivation behind this anonymous act of kindness is simply to bring a smile to someone’s’ face. Last year, NAFAS embraced ‘The Lonely Bouquet’ concept for the very first time and distributed thousands of bouquets across the UK. The feedback was outstanding.
Sue Brinton, Chairman of NAFAS, commented; “Last year we asked our 60,000 members to distribute ‘Lonely Bouquets’ across the UK. The feedback we had was outstanding and really highlighted the power of flowers! We received thousands of tweets, emails and letters thanking us.
The responses from those who had received bouquets were incredibly personal and very emotional. From a woman who was undergoing treatment for Breast Cancer who found a pink floral arrangement which gave her hope and courage; to a man who found a posy of 36 blooms on the day of his 36th wedding anniversary which he gave to his wife!”
NAFAS hopes that by promoting the ‘Lonely Bouquet’ concept it can, in turn promote the flower industry itself and attract new members to join their local NAFAS flower club. 60,000 NAFAS members will again distribute mystery bunches of blooms across the UK. Flowers will be placed every-where, from park benches and shop doorsteps, to well-known landmarks and surprise locations. NAFAS hope that these small posies will find a home and brighten somebody’s day.
The random act of kindness initiative dubbed the ‘Lonely Bouquet’ was the brainchild of a young florist in Belgium named Emily Avenso, who blogged about the idea after leaving flowers for strangers over two years ago. The idea went viral and ‘Lonely Bouquets’ have been distributed across the globe ever since.
NAFAS Honorary Patron, TV’s NICKI CHAPMAN who is one of the BBC’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show presenters, will front the campaign. Nicki commented: “From its humble beginnings, the Lonely Bouquet has evolved into a global movement that has inspired floral fanatics far and wide. The positive responses are hardly surprising – flowers evoke joy and happiness.”
Celebrities from the world of flowers and gardening were amongst the first to support the campaign. Gardening king ALAN TITCHMARSH, the One’s Show’s gardening expert CHRISTINE WALKDEN and BBC Gardeners World star JOE SWIFT are amongst the supporters.
Alan Titchmarsh commented; “I can’t think of a nicer way of bringing sunshine into anyone’s life than with a bunch of flowers – especially if it is unsuspected. And flowers aren’t just for ladies. Give a man a bunch, too. Tell him they are to make him smile!”
Christine Walkden added’; “Flowers bring such joy to a person’s life. This campaign brings such a thrill to total strangers and as such should reignite the pleasure of giving and receiving. ”
The campaign has also gathered backing from a diverse range of UK celebrities across the UK. TV stars including Celebrity chef JAMIE OLIVER, ITN newsreader NINA HOSSAIN, Sky News Presenter LORNA DUNKLEY, TV presenter AMANDA LAMB and broadcaster ESTHER RANTZEN are also backing the campaign.
Amanda Lamb commented; “Flowers speak volumes when words fail. ‘The Lonely Bouquet’ is such a beautiful idea – my only wish would be that more people did things like this more often. Flower arranging is such a beautiful art – a simple bouquet can make such an outstanding difference to someone’s day.”
And a range of music stars have embraced the campaign too. LULU, SINITTA and former Pussycat Doll KIMBERLEY WYATT also love the concept.
Sinitta commented; “Flowers are beautiful, I grew up in a home that understood fresh flowers were a luxury and a blessing. We learned flower arranging at school (yes, I’m THAT old!). The idea of a ‘lonely bouquet’ being found by and given as a random and surprising act of kindness is gorgeous and romantic, makes me smile just thinking about it!”
Floral Artistry is becoming really credible. Fashion houses Dior, Gucci and Channel have all participated in the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. And a new wave of credible and cool rock ‘n’ roll florists such as Simon Lycett have a cult following and have caught the attention of fashionistas and movie-makers alike. However, NAFAS fears that floral design may become a dying art unless a new generation is inspired to get involved. The ‘Lonely Bouquet’ campaign is also a way of stimulating a new generation to get into floral design.
Nicki Chapman said; “Flowers are uplifting, chic, beautiful and inspiring and it is important that the great British tradition of floral design is highlighted. Floral design is a true art form and we hope that this huge initiative can help spread our passion across the UK”
NAFAS will scatter 60,000 Lonely Bouquets across the UK from the beginning of May. The bouquet’s new owners are encouraged to post a message back to NAFAS, to let them know it found a good home.