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Mon, 24 Apr



Daffodils 2023 - A ceramic installation by Helen Ratcliffe

Helen will be making 10,000 ceramic daffodils for an installation at Lowther Castle and is currently fundraising to cover the production costs. She hopes you can help! More project details below.

Daffodils 2023 - A ceramic installation by Helen Ratcliffe
Daffodils 2023 - A ceramic installation by Helen Ratcliffe

Time & Location

24 Apr 2023, 10:00 – 24 Jun 2023, 17:00

Lowther, Lowther, Penrith CA10 2HH, UK

About the Event

Hello, I am Helen, a potter based in Dockray.

In discussions with Friends of the Ullswater Way, a local historical and literary interest group, potentially proposing 2023 a Year of Art in Ullswater I immediately thought of daffodils. So, in a similar vein to the 2014 Tower of London poppies I will be making 10,000+ ceramic daffodils - per Wordsworth's famous poem. They will be 'planted' at the magnificent Lowther Castle, near Penrith and on the Ullswater Way route, for viewing from April - June next year.

After the display ends at Lowther the daffodils will be sold and I aim to generate £250,000+ for five charities (more details below).

I am seeking a minimum of £5 per donation to support the production of the daffodils.Your donation will cover the cost of materials and marketing of the project. The labour involved is all through volunteers. Any surplus materials and equipment after the production e.g. clay, glaze, slab roller, glaze mixer etc, approximately 50% of the cost of production will be donated to local schools and community groups. I am not being paid for this project.

Donate HERE

Wordsworth was inspired to write his famous poem ‘I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud’ during a walk at Glencoyne Park on the edge of Ullswater with his sister at the turn of the 19th century. In the poem, he talks of ‘Ten thousand saw I at a glance’. So my plan is to create 10,000 (I know!) daffodils.

Community engagement is a vital part of the project, so I will invite local residents, businesses and schools to help with production and planting.

Lowther Castle is an incredible partner for this project, providing a spectacular location and supporting me with a production site, marketing support and invaluable input from a team with extensive experience working on such installations. Lowther has many stories that marry it closely to my project, not least the 'Yellow Earl', and its world record of planting 106,526 real daffodils in 2012.

As mentioned earlier, the daffodils will ultimately be sold in support of four charities -

Another Way - education environment charity of which I am a trustee

Sunbeams - music therapy trust for children and adults with a wide range of disabilities and complex medical needs

New Horizon Youth Centre - a daycare centre for young homeless people - I was previously involved with NHYC

Friends of the Ullswater Way - highlights the history and traditions of the Ullswater valley

Ullswater Catchment Management CIC - - improving flood resilience and restoring nature to complement sustainable farming in the Ullswater Valley

In addition to the ten thousand daffodils, I will be making ten giant daffodil heads and have begun inviting notable potters to glaze them. These large daffodil heads will be auctioned off to support a charity of the potters' choice. In the summer of 2023, we will hold a gala dinner with both a live and online auction.

I have a brilliant team of friends from Matterdale helping me on this project and we are starting to move forward on many parts of the project together. Hopefully the cost of production target will come down as we negotiate with suppliers and we recieve funding from other sources - grants, local business sponsorship etc. 

I want to confirm that your donation goes towards the production of the daffodils; it doesn't buy you a daffodil. The plan is to include every donor's name on the Daffodils 2023 website (to be built) by way of a thank you. However, in addition, I am thanking you now - this project supports a variety of very much needed charitable causes.

Financial management of the project will be completed by the education environment charity Another Way, of which I am a trustee. Your donation will show as Another Way and will only be used for this project. Any surplus production funds will be added to the contributions to the four charities.

Thank you so much for your support, and come and see the daffs when they are installed!

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