Warwick Davis makes emotional return at St Barnabas Hospice's ‘Feathers from Above’ - first appearance since wife’s passing

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St Barnabas Hospice is thrilled to announce the opening of its breathtaking ‘Feathers from Above’ display of handmade ironwork feathers at Aubourn Hall Gardens and Grounds with longstanding Patron of St Barnabas, Warwick Davis, in attendance at the launch.

Warwick was one of the many who attended the Hospice’s VIP reflection evening on Thursday, 2nd May. This was Warwick’s first public appearance since the announcement of his wife, Samantha’s, death.

Given the purpose of the ‘Feathers from Above’ display and his recent circumstances, Warwick was keen to show his support as he had done with many of the hospice’s previous fundraising events.

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The display comprises over 1,000 handmade ironwork feathers, each individually dedicated by individuals and families in memory of their loved ones.

Warwick Davis and family at Aubourn Hall and GardensWarwick Davis and family at Aubourn Hall and Gardens
Warwick Davis and family at Aubourn Hall and Gardens

To celebrate the opening of the display, the Hospice hosted an invite-only launch event on the evening of Thursday, 2nd May, at Aubourn Hall, a beautiful backdrop to the display less than ten miles from Lincoln.

The moving event took place in a twilight setting, with specially curated lighting, illuminated photos of loved ones, and live music from Elizabeth Wallace, musician and St Barnabas nurse. Attendees were also welcome to enjoy refreshments, including St Barnabas gin and spiced rum, created in partnership with Lincolnshire distillery Pin Gin, and canapes provided by local pub The Royal Oak.

Understandably, Warwick did not want to give interviews to the cameras on the night of the reflection evening and instead opted for photo opportunities only. But in the days leading up to the display, Warwick informed the hospice: “The loss of a loved one is, sadly, something many of us will endure in our lifetime. It can come unexpectedly or as the result of a terminal illness.

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“Nonetheless, the experience is just as painful and heartbreaking. Recently, I’ve come to understand what this means first-hand with the passing of my beloved wife, Sammy.

Warwick Davis with ironwork feathersWarwick Davis with ironwork feathers
Warwick Davis with ironwork feathers

“Feathers have long been considered spiritual signs that our deceased loved ones are near, so in recognition of that, St Barnabas created ‘Feathers from Above’. By reserving one, you are not only helping fund the essential hospice care St Barnabas provides but also acknowledging and creating a lasting legacy for your loved one.”

St Barnabas Hospice CEO Chris Wheway, along with the organisation's directors and trustees, was also in attendance and among the first to view the display of feathers in its entirety.

Chris Wheway said: “It is an absolutely breathtaking sight to see our ‘Feathers from Above’ display this evening, with each and every feather representing a loved one no longer with us.

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“Aubourn Hall Gardens and Grounds is a beautiful backdrop to such an emotive display, and on behalf of everyone at the Hospice, we would like to thank Aubourn Hall and the Neville family for their unwavering support.

Feathers from AboveFeathers from Above
Feathers from Above

“By visiting the display and purchasing a feather, you are supporting the provision of free palliative and end-of-life hospice care for patients and their families across Lincolnshire.”

Members of the public were also invited to view the display at night, with ticketed sessions at the reflection evening events available on Thursday, May 2nd, and Friday, May 3rd, these reflection evenings provided individuals an exclusive opportunity to view the display early, alongside photos of their loved ones on dedication screens.

The feathers themselves are individually hand-crafted close to Aubourn Hall by local Steal Fabricator Kevin Baumber. Due to being made at three different heights, the feathers make a moving display of art that interacts with the wind when put together.

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Steel Fabricator and artist behind the feather, Kevin Baumber, said: “The concept behind the feathers is that whenever you see a white feather, it is thought to represent someone you have lost who is still close to you.

“Hopefully, when we have all the feathers together, people will visit the project, and it will give them a lot of pleasure.

“I consider Lincoln my home, so it is really nice to put something back into the community.”

Feathers are currently available to purchase through the St Barnabas website for £40. The price of a feather matches the cost to St Barnabas of providing care for a patient in their own home for two hours. Your purchase will support the continuation of their services to over 12,000 patients and families across Lincolnshire.

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On May 4th, St Barnabas Hospice welcomed members of the public to the first daytime display of ironwork feathers at Aubourn Hall Gardens and Grounds. The display is now open and available to visit every day until Friday, May 17th.

Individuals who have purchased an ironwork feather on the St Barnabas Hospice website are granted one free entry to the display. For other visitors, the entry fee is £8 per person (50% of which will be retained by St Barnabas Hospice) and free for children under 16.

Caroline Swindin, Head of Fundraising and Lottery at St Barnabas Hospice, said: “We are thrilled that our ‘Feathers from Above’ display is now open for visitors to enjoy this Spring.

“Throughout the display, St Barnabas staff and volunteers will be in attendance to inform visitors not only about the care and services we provide but also about the blossoming gardens, plants, and flowers that surround the feathers.

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“I would like to personally thank Aubourn Hall, the Neville family and our dedicated artist, Kevin Baumber, all of whom this appeal would not have taken place without.”

To secure your place, book a visit to the ‘Feathers from Above’ display at Aubourn Hall Gardens and Grounds via tbarnabashospice.co.uk/events/daytimedisplays/.

You can purchase a feather by visiting stbarnabashospice.co.uk/feathersfromabove/?form=true.

St Barnabas Hospice thanks Aubourn Hall Gardens and Grounds, the Neville family, The Royal Oak Pub, Elizabeth Wallace, Peachy Events, Kevin Baumber, Felicity Jenkinson, Claverings Removals and Storage, and St Barnabas volunteers.