Bradley man Mark Gilbert has raised thousands of pounds for Kirkwood Hospice in memory of his wife.

Mark  has raised £12,019 which has covered the cost of a garden room in the recently refurbished in-patient unit at Kirkwood Hospice.

And it is the ideal memorial for Mark’s wife, Susan, after he named a flower after her during her battle with cancer.

Childhood sweethearts Mark and Susan had a love of flowers and horticulture that stretched back as long as their relationship.

So when Susan was diagnosed with gastric cancer, Mark decided to have a species of flower grown in her memory.

The Susan Gilbert Dahlia has been on sale over the last year and is available through specialist supplier Halls of Heddon based in Harrogate. All proceeds of the sales have been donated towards Kirkwood’s Capital Appeal.

The dahlia is still for sale and costs £2.85.

One of the dahlias won a prize at the Harrogate Autumn Flower Show.

Susan had the cancer for three years and died unexpectedly in March last year.

Mark said: “Susan was aware of the flower and as she was a big supporter of the hospice she always said that if the flower was of good enough quality and quantity we should try and raise money for Kirkwood.

“The Capital Appeal seemed the perfect thing to support once the dahlia was ready for sale.”

Susan Gilbert with the Susan Gilbert Dahlia which was named in her memory
Susan Gilbert with the Susan Gilbert Dahlia which was named in her memory

Fundraising manager at the hospice Marie Peacock said: “It has been a wonderful project with over £12,000 being raised, leaving a lasting legacy of support in Susan’s name.

“I would like to say a big thank you to Mark and all who bought a dahlia. The garden room is of real therapeutic importance for patients and their families and will be used for many years to come.”

The Capital Appeal, launched in February 2012, aimed to raise £3m to cover the cost of refurbishing and extending the in-patient unit at Kirkwood Hospice.

The work has now been done and to date £2.87m has been raised.

For more information on how you can help to raise the final £130,000 please contact Marie Peacock on 01484 557911 or