Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

I Love Saying It with Flowers

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

I Love Saying It with Flowers

Article excerpt

Byline: By Victoria Page

Audrey Kingham searches for the right words to describe her mother.

"If you asked for a cake you'd get a tray full," she says finally. "The word `no' wasn't in her vocabulary."

It's six years since Audrey, 39, lost her mother, Josephine Dickinson, to leukaemia and every day she remembers her with love. She died three days after her 70th birthday, following an eight-year battle with the disease.

To lose one family member to cancer was more than enough to bear, but this summer Audrey also lost her brother, William, to the same strain of leukaemia, aged just 55.

"I was with William when he died," she says. "When mam went, dad was devastated, but very brave, as he had all the family to support him."

Shortly before Josephine died she requested that no flowers be laid for her - she would rather the money be donated to the Tyneside Leukaemia Fund so that others suffering from the disease might be helped.

Audrey respected her wishes but as a lecturer in floristry at North Tyneside College and having nurtured a passion for flowers her whole life, she decided she would use her knowledge of blooms to raise money for Tyneside Leukaemia Research.

So five years ago and with the help of her whole family, Audrey came up with the idea of a Christmas flower design workshop to be held at Longhirst Village Hall, Northumberland, where the entire family originate from and where her mother lived.

Since the classes began she has raised over pounds 5,000, every penny of which is donated to the leukaemia fund.

"Dr Dewar, who was my mother's consultant at Wansbeck Hospital, was fantastic and she's involved in Tyneside Leukaemia Research along with Professor Stephen Proctor of the haematology department at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary," Audrey explains. …

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