BBC DIY SOS: Nottingham florist helps create calming therapy centre for bereaved children

Gareth Shaw joined forces with pop star Sophie Ellis Bextor for the Children In Need special episode
Gareth and his team played a vital role in the big build Gareth and his team played a vital role in the big build
Gareth and his team played a vital role in the big build

A Nottingham florist joined forces with the BBC DIY SOS team and pop star Sophie Ellis Bextor to create a calming therapy centre for bereaved children.

DIY SOS undertook the huge challenge for a special Children In Need episode that aired last week on Thursday, November 16 at Treetops; an adult hospice in Derbyshire. The aim was to build a counselling and therapy centre to support traumatically bereaved children. 

Making Pudsey proud, a huge team of volunteers including chart-topping artist Sophie Ellis Bextor, signed up to support the project, which will be a huge comfort to struggling youngsters. 

Read more: Your Nottingham

Nottingham-based, Welch the Florist made a vital contribution to the project by delivering and arranging Hydrangeas and Eucalyptus plants to the complementary therapy rooms.

The potential healing properties for treating ailments from the chosen foliage is well known, and the striking blooms and calming scents selected to transform the rooms into a safe space and warm environment, in turn boosting wellbeing.

The volunteers made a real difference! The volunteers made a real difference!
The volunteers made a real difference!

Welch Florist owner Gareth Shaw said: “It was a huge honour to be a part of this wonderful project. We were glad we could help.

"We’re a family business. My dad still works in the business and my wife and two children are a huge part of what we do. So being able to help a charity that focuses on helping families and children was a perfect fit for us.”

To celebrate the huge efforts of the team leaving no stone unturned while creating the state-of-the-art sanctuary, singer Sophie arrived to raise spirits with a surprise performance of her famous Kitchen Disco. The once-in-a-lifetime experience has certainly left a mark on the colleagues at Welch. 

“Children in Need is something I’ve grown up watching so being part of it, even though it’s a small part, means the world to me personally,” revealed Gareth. 

The BBC charity has supported the 40-year-old hospice since 1910, which costs £4.3 million per year to run. 

About Welch the Florist

Welch has a fascinating century-old history, spanning five generations. Founded in 1920 by Fred and Dora Welch who originally opened their Long Eaton store in Nottingham stocking fruit, vegetables, confectionery, and even homemade ice cream.

The greengrocer’s son Reg expanded with fresh flowers in 1945 and by 1951 Welch had joined Interflora, fast becoming one of the leading florists to deliver across Nottingham.

With supermarkets quickly springing up all over the country by 1973, grandson John Welch chose to focus on floristry, before handing the reins over to aspiring florist Tony Shaw.

New owner Tony Shaw cemented the company’s reputation from the 1980s by supplying Harrods department store and displays at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.      

DIY SOS for Children In Need 2023DIY SOS for Children In Need 2023
DIY SOS for Children In Need 2023

Gareth - Tony’s son - strives to achieve ongoing success by going the extra mile with meticulous attention to detail, making personal deliveries where needed and ensuring all online reviews glow.

In today’s fast-paced world, clients routinely need stunning fresh flowers to wow a recipient the next day. Wilted petals are simply unacceptable. Lovers of the finer things can also rely on Welch to deliver wine or chocolate to accompany their bouquets.

Gareth loves assisting customers with important decisions, guaranteeing the perfect colour scheme each time and supporting the current interior trend for stylish and beautiful fresh flowers.

As his business goes from strength to strength his goal is clear, commenting, “I’d absolutely love it if everyone in the Midlands chose to order directly from Welch the Florist, we’re all about creating lasting memories with every bouquet we deliver.”