A huge exhibition of man-made Yorkshire roses, aimed at becoming the White Rose equivalent of the 2014 Tower of London poppy installation, will be the climax of a new county-wide campaign.
School children across the region will be asked to design a new Yorkshire rose this spring as part of the Bloomin Yorkshire initiative, before the winning design is reproduced en-masse and turned into an immense exhibition in 2018.
Horsforth resident Janice Richardson, who has been on kidney dialysis for seven years, came up with the idea as a way of trying to raise £1million for Kidney Research UK and organ donation awareness charities.
It was inspired by the death of a fellow dialysis patient and has since seen Janice set up the Bloomin Yorkshire Charitable Foundation and win the backing of councils in Leeds, Bradford and York.
Janice, who has had two failed kidney transplants, hopes the final exhibition can host as many as 70,000 roses.
“This blooming symbol of our great county played on my mind,” she said. “I knew I could use it to spread the joy and positivity I feel about life and where I live, as a reminder that no matter what happens, life is bloomin’ marvellous.”
Bloomin Yorkshire’s website will launch to coincide with a launch lunch at Brasserie Forty 4, in Leeds, on January 22. Schools can then register online and the design project can start from February.
Entries will close on August 1 this year and a winning school will be chosen.
The roses will then be made so that supporters can buy them online, with every one purchased added to a display that will grow from April 2018 before it is completed on Yorkshire Day. It is hoped the roses will be planted at Deans Park beside York Minster.
Janice added: “I just hope we will save more lives and that people waiting for organs will have freedom again.”
Visit bloominyorkshire.co.uk from January 22 or search BloominYorkshire on Facebook or @BloominYorks on Twitter.