Celebrating their 32nd birthday this year, it's difficult to picture Liverpool without Sunflowers and the crucial service they provide; "At the time when Sunflowers first opened, Liverpool’s rate was worse than Albania’s for cancer survival. As research has got better and treatment has got better, we’ve got to a point now where we can treat the person, and also provide support to the family and friends around them." 

Not just a historic organisation, but one that is growing too, it's great to hear how many people Sunflowers are able to provide with support; "We’re the only place in Merseyside that provides this service, apart from Maggies over in the Wirral. We’re open 5-days a week; we have two people sign up every day and we’ve got 600 people on the books right now. The people we see coming to Sunflowers are really diverse."

Sunflowers Liv

Cosmic Jam is not only a party and an awareness event this year, with the charity also hosting massage therapy in the Event Space for all their sponsored runners in the Liverpool Rock 'N' Roll Marathon; "We’re inviting them back for a warm-down massage and a chat. One of our marathon runners first came to Sunflowers when their partner fell ill. Although he passed away two years ago, she keep coming in to Sunflowers and helping out. They're doing their first marathon this year, in aid of the charity and their family." 

Having taken place at Constellations for the past two years, Cosmic Jam is a cornerstone in the Sunflowers Charity's fundraising calendar. NHS funded until 2016, Sunflowers now relies on fundraising events, collections and trusts to meet its running costs, as Bobby tells us; "The NHS is goosed, there’s no place for that hands-on support anymore which is what we offer. The problem is that the NHS have no money. For every pound given to us by the NHS, we’d save them six pounds...but they haven’t got a pound to give us."

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With a full calendar of fundraising events already behind them, and plenty more to get excited about over the coming months, Sunflowers will be making a number of appearances at Constellations and around the city this summer; "We had a salsa night at Constellations on 1st April. Karen, who runs Salsa Liverpool had breast cancer a few years ago and came into Sunflowers wanting a bit more support - the charity came in and helped her through all of it. She now does salsa lessons and zumba for us. That event raised over £3000 alone!"

Later in the year, Sunflowers are planning on getting all nostalgic too, with a screening of the 2005 Champions League Final (spoiler...Liverpool won!) "That cup final was 13 years ago now, so people are wanting to bring their 12 year old kids who will never understand what their parents went through that night. We’re hopefully going to be getting a Liverpool legend to come down as well and host our raffle...we've got a signed Kenny Dalglish shirt from his 1984 European Cup win and Xabi Alonso's last training shirt, signed by the whole team."

Sunflowers Liverpool

Looking to the future, Sunflowers are going to be diversifying the range of illnesses that they welcome into the centre, as well as going further with their fundraising efforts. Without NHS funding, the charity rely on as much hands on support and donations as they can find. Volunteers are always welcome to teach classes, help around the centre and with assist in the fundraising effort. 

To find out more, visit the Sunflowers website, pop down to their centre on Aigburth Road or contact them via email; ty@liverpoolsunflowers.com

Cosmic Jam starts at 11am this Sunday, 20th May. Donations are welcomed on the door with deejays playing from midday!