Butterfly campaign takes flight for The Donna Louise Hospice for Children & Young People

A hospice today launches a special campaign inspired by former service user Charlotte Thom which will culminate in a stunning butterfly themed art installation at the heart of the world-renowned gardens at the Trentham Estate.

Taking Flight, an inspiring temporary installation made up of 5,000 ceramic butterflies will take centre stage at Trentham Gardens from late May until early November, and each intricately made butterfly will be available to buy with all funds raised benefitting The Donna Louise Hospice for Children & Young People.

The project is being supported by businesses from Staffordshire and Cheshire in an echo of the World War One ceramic poppies, the butterflies will celebrate the Potteries’ unique heritage while supporting unique, new facilities for children and young people who need hospice care.

The butterfly designs are echoes of paintings by Charlotte, who spent time at the Donna Louise and was a keen artist, completing an A-level in the subject before her death last year, aged 20.

A poignant video can be seen here, featuring Charlotte’s grandmother Jenny Thom and her butterfly paintings – https://youtu.be/joTZP5UwYAs.

Simon Fuller, Chief Executive, said: “The Donna Louise supports hundreds of families across Staffordshire and South Cheshire who are living with the heart-breaking knowledge that they will almost certainly outlive their child.

“Until recently, the hospice was not able to support young people beyond their 19th birthday, so rather than a milestone to look forward to, approaching adulthood became a time of great stress and uncertainty for families. The Donna Louise therefore made a game-changing decision to expand their services to include teens as they become adults and promised to be there for families for as long as they need them.

“As a charity that relies almost exclusively on the generosity of the local community to make their work possible, this was not a decision that was taken lightly. Inspired by the need to continue caring for children and young people into adulthood and The Butterflies project was born.

“Charlotte was a familiar face at The Donna Louise from the age of seven. Her artwork was an inspiration and despite her life limiting illness, she developed into a fantastic ambassador for our hospice. It is wonderful to be able to remember her through The Butterflies project and her legacy will be the continued development of our hospice to support more children and young adults.”

Each limited-edition ceramic butterfly is hand crafted in the heart of the world-famous Stoke-on-Trent Potteries and offers a chance to support The Donna Louise and to own a little piece of the city’s history. Due to generous sponsorship from many businesses in Staffordshire and Cheshire, 100% of the money raised from sales will go directly to the hospice.

The butterflies are now on sale, please go on line to www.thebutterflies.org.uk, each purchase includes one free day admission to Trentham Gardens, to view “Taking Flight” from the 25 May to 3 November 2019.

The butterflies are being crafted by two major names in Stoke-on-Trent’s ceramics industry, Wade Ceramics and Johnson Tiles.

Mel Campbell, Director at Campbell Creative Consulting, leading on the project said: “Each butterfly is unique and has been crafted by the potters at Stoke-on-Trent ceramics experts Johnson Tiles – who made the poppies for the internationally acclaimed Tower of London art installation, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red commemorating the Centenary of World War One.

“The vibrant blue butterflies have then been glazed and finished to the highest standard by the world-renowned Wade Ceramics pottery in the heart of Stoke-on-Trent. These strictly limited-edition butterflies represent the finest artistry and expertise of The Potteries and are truly unique.

“Our vision is innovative and ambitious. It takes vital fundraising for The Donna Louise to new heights, raises awareness, builds a temporary tourist attraction for North Staffordshire, creating new awareness and lasting memories, and people gain the opportunity to combine an act of generous giving with the purchase of a unique ceramic butterfly, beautifully reflecting the artistry, industry and heritage of the Stoke-on-Trent Potteries.”

The Donna Louise was founded with facilities to support children and their families, however, as some of the children reach young adulthood, the hospice has expanded its services. In 2018/19 a new facility has been built at The Donna Louise to provide care and support for teens as they become young adults. It is a wonderful, unique facility and we are delighted that money raised from The Butterflies will help to support this fantastic cause.”


For media enquiries please contact Nigel Howle by telephone on 0776 2043436 or by email at [email protected].

Notes to Editors: The Butterflies is a unique collaboration of local businesses, the cultural, tourism and education sectors along with individuals with a single shared vision; to ensure those in the care of The Donna Louise Hospice for Children & Young People enjoy the best possible life. These are Tile Mountain (main sponsor), Johnson Tiles, Wade Ceramics, KMF, Valentine Clays, The Trentham Estate, PM Training, Advanced Packaging, Strategi Solutions, Miller and Co., Inspired Film and Video, Joanne Hine, Campbell Creative Consulting, Staffordshire University, Paul Williams, Stoke-on-Trent City Council, DPD, Red Industries, My Clever Group, QPS, Gladman Developments, Blakemans’ , Rydale Roofing, Franklyn Financial Management, Holdcroft Heating, Envisage.