A KINGSWINFORD charity ambassador enjoyed an emotional weekend at BBC Gardeners' World Live where she raised more than £1,000 for a cause close to her heart and won an award for a garden paying tribute to her late daughter.

Andrea Childs, an ambassador for Cure Leukaemia, was offered the chance to design a border garden at the show, held at the NEC Birmingham from June 15 to 18, and tell the story of her daughter Beth, who died of leukaemia five years ago, aged just 20.

With help from garden designer Dani King and pupils at The Glynne Primary School in Kingswinford, Andrea created a garden filled with sunflowers (Beth’s favourite) painted stones and paintings - based on the theme of teaching and children as Beth had been training to be a teacher.

As well as attracting interest from thousands of visitors plus famous names including TV gardener Carol Klein and ex-England, Wolves and Crystal Palace footballer Geoff Thomas, the garden won The Community Endeavour Award.

Stourbridge News: Geoff Thomas and his wife with Andrea Childs, and a photograph of Beth, 20, right.Geoff Thomas and his wife with Andrea Childs, and a photograph of Beth, 20, right. (Image: Andrea Childs)

Andrea said: “The judges commented on how moved they were by the passion, feelings and love the garden created.”

She explained how sunflowers were not only Beth’s favourite flower but that in 2019 - the year after Beth lost her battle with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia - another leukaemia mum grew some sunflowers in her garden.

She kept the seeds from those original flowers and gave Andrea a packet to grow the following year.

From those original flowers, Andrea has grown hundreds of plants each year and she collects the seeds to resell for Cure Leukaemia.

She said having a border garden at the show, which was attended by 90,000-plus people, was a great opportunity to tell Beth’s story and raise awareness of blood cancers.

Andrea said: “We shared sad and happy experiences with many members of the public across the four-day show and by selling Beth's Sunflower seeds and other sunflower merchandise raised over £1,000 for the charity.”

Anyone wanting to buy Beth’s sunflower seeds can contact Andrea via https://www.cureleukaemia.co.uk/sunflowerseeds/