The Big Sunflower Project

Monday 18 Mar 2013 Tagged inAround the world, Weird & Wonderful

Butterfly on sunflower

We love hearing from people that use sunflowers to celebrate or raise awareness of a good cause. Recently Toni Abram contacted us about The Big Sunflower Project and how Turing's Sunflower growers could get involved... 

This year I am asking people to raise awareness of the rare neuromuscular conditions called centronuclear (CNM) and myotubular myopathy (MTM) by growing a sunflower.

My father and I were diagnosed with a mild form of centronuclear myopathy in 1998 and after our diagnosis, I set up the Information Point website to raise awareness and provide information and support to anyone affected by any form of the condition.

Illustrations of sunflowers appear on the website. I chose sunflowers for the positive outlook which I think they convey. I love the way they grow to such dizzy heights, as if they are on a mission to touch the sky and nothing can hold them back.

In 2011 I decided that growing sunflowers would be a good way to mark 10 years of the website and three years on, thanks to generous seed donations, the project is still taking place and has become a lovely way of engaging the CNM / MTM community and others in a fun pastime to raise awareness of these neuromuscular conditions, for which currently there are no cure.

This year some of the seeds have gone to a gardening tutor in Liverpool with lots of growing spaces to fill; to Leigh on Sea for some raised beds and a kitchen garden; to Leeds where they are to be passed around an allotment association; to High Wycombe for growing on an allotment run by four people with learning disabilities; and to a family in London, a firm of architects in Chester and a school in Tipperary for sunflower growing competitions. The project has been taken up further afield also and this year The Big Sunflower Project will be taking place in Canada and the USA too.

Get some seeds & get involved!

Seeds for The Big Sunflower Project UK and Europe are available in return for a stamped addressed envelope by emailing centronuclear.org@btopenworld.com.

Further information

Find out about the Big Sunflower Project here. Like the project on facebook and share photos on flickr.

For more information on centronuclear and myotubular myopathy, visit http://centronuclear.org.uk/index.html

Photo gallery

butterfly on sunflower Butterfly on sunflower