Personalised rose will raise money for St Barnabas House in Worthing

A Worthing man has named a rose in memory of his late husband and hopes it will help raise money for two cancer-related charities.

Ralph Lucas, 53, said a painful time was made a little more bearable by the warmth and support of the expert care at St Barnabas House, so he wants to give something back.

Brian Blythe, left and husband Ralph Lucas at Brian's 75th birthday celebrations

Brian Blythe, left and husband Ralph Lucas at Brian's 75th birthday celebrations

Brian Blythe had cancer of the gall bladder and initially received support from the hospice’s community palliative care team at home.

Then, after a stay in hospital, he was referred to the in-patient unit at St Barnabas House on May 14, 2018.

Ralph said: “The night Brian arrived at St Barnabas, he was very weak but so happy and relieved to be away from the hospital. The nurses were cheery and positive and I remember he jokingly said to me ‘what did I think of our new home?’. He loved his room and view to the garden.

“It meant a lot that I could stay overnight with Brian, sleeping on the spare bed, so I could feel closer to him during this time.

Our Brian, a lovely bush rose with tangerine apricot flowers and a noticeable perfume

Our Brian, a lovely bush rose with tangerine apricot flowers and a noticeable perfume

“It’s the small acts of kindness you always remember, being offered coffee and biscuits and us sharing jokes with the nurses.”

Brian died aged 76 on May 22, 2018, just two months after the couple married.

Ralph has named a rose with tangerine apricot flowers in his memory and a percentage of all sales will go to Cancer Reasearch, plus, in the first year, an equal amount will go to St Barnabas House.

He said: “Brian loved many things, one of which was nature, especially flowers. I became aware of the option to name a new rose breed before it became commercially available, through internationally-renowned rose breeder Keith Jones.

“We decided to call the rose Our Brian. Of all the roses available for naming, this rose was the one that had the strongest scent and Brian always appreciated flowers that had a nice perfume.

“Part of the proceeds from the sale of the rose will go towards supporting St Barnabas House, as a thank you for their personalised care, kindness and continued support.

“The counselling I was offered from the hospice after Brian passed away has been exceptionally helpful and much appreciated.”

Visit jonestherose.co.uk/516-our-brian-wek-x965-1.html to order the bush rose Our Brian, priced £14.50.