A local father and his family are spreading smiles across the student community by offering home-grown sunflowers in aid of MacMillan Support Centre in Truro.

Forty-eight sunflower plants will be available to collect from Sean Stratton at the Falmouth sign outside the Woodlane Campus on Thursday 25th March. There is no obligation to make a contribution to the MacMillan fund, but donation boxes will be available on the day with a suggested donation of £2 per plant.

Fundraiser: Sean Stratton and his family bringing colour to Falmouth by gifting sunflowers and smiles to students for MacMillan Truro  Image: Sean Stratton

“There’s lots of student houses across Falmouth with not much going on in the garden and there are lots of us who after the last twelve months could do with a pick me up. I sure could!” says Sean Stratton.  “All I need now is the help of the student community to brighten up Falmouth this summer.”

The Stratton family started growing sunflowers in the first lockdown to bring a little joy to their daughter and friend whilst schools were closed. Word of the Stratton’s sunflowers spread through his street and the family began offering sunflowers to their neighbours.

The family now want to share the same happiness witnessed by their neighbours with the student community.

Plants: The Stratton family lining up their sunflower pots to deliver to their neighbours in Falmouth  Image: Sean Stratton

“Some of the adults [on my street] asked if they could have some [sunflowers] as well for some fun and have a tallest sunflower race….I ended up delivering 23 sunflowers, about 30cm tall, to my street. Then when I was delivering a plant to one neighbour she said the students at the student house on our street might like some as well and that’s how this grew… excuse the pun!”

Sean has planted a range of sunflowers seeds including: American Giants, Jammie Dodgers, Velvet Queens and King Kong Sunflower variations, each of which have signature tones of red and yellow. The 48 seeds have been mixed up and randomly sewn to surprise recipients once grown.

Donations from the sunflowers will be given to MacMillan Truro, a dedicated cancer support charity based in Truro.

“I know it’s been hard on charities with lockdown stopping much of their fundraising, and catching cancer early is of particular concern, but also how it’s affected the counselling services they offer for patients mental health.”

The plants will be around three weeks old when students collect their sunflower surprise on the 25th of March, with a suggested donation of £2 per plant.

Progress of the seeds and information on how to care for your sunflower is available on the Facebook page ‘Sunflowers 🌻 Smiles’. Members of the Facebook group are invited to post pictures of their plants and enter a competition to grow the tallest sunflower.

Seedlings: Day six of the sunflowers’ progress in the Stratton’s propagator Image: ‘Sunflower 🌻 Smiles‘ Facebook page

Sean hopes that as the sunflowers bloom, they will continue to bring a smile to everyone walking around Falmouth.

For more information visit the ‘Sunflowers 🌻 Smiles’ Facebook page or visit the Falmouth sign outside the Woodlane Campus on Thursday 25th March to speak to the Stratton family.