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Florist says thank you to hospital staff with 1,200 bouquets

PUBLISHED: 21:07 20 April 2020 | UPDATED: 11:59 21 April 2020

Emma and Neil Storey donated one of the bouquets to ward sister Sammy Richie at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. Picture: Emma Storey

Emma and Neil Storey donated one of the bouquets to ward sister Sammy Richie at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. Picture: Emma Storey

Emma Storey

A florist has delivered 1,200 bouquets of flowers as a thank you to hospital staff on the frontline in the fight against the coronavirus.

Emma and Neil Storey wanted to do something to put a smile on the faces of staff at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. Picture: Emma StoreyEmma and Neil Storey wanted to do something to put a smile on the faces of staff at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. Picture: Emma Storey

Nine van loads of blooms were unloaded at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital to help “put a smile on the faces” of NHS staff.

Emma Storey, 41, who owns florists Emms Stems at Southrepps, and her husband Neil, who runs a plant hire firm, wanted to do something to honour health workers.

The 1,200 bouquets of flowers being delivered for staff at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. Picture: Emma StoreyThe 1,200 bouquets of flowers being delivered for staff at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. Picture: Emma Storey

She said: “My husband does construction work at the hospital and because I have a flower shop we said we would like to do something together.

“I had 15,000 stems delivered last Friday and we got on with it. I initially wanted to do 1,000 bouquets but it was 1,200 in all.”

15,000 stems were turned into 1,200 bouquets to give a thank you to staff at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. Picture: Emma Storey15,000 stems were turned into 1,200 bouquets to give a thank you to staff at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. Picture: Emma Storey

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Preparing the bouquets took three days and was a family affair with help from daughter Danielle, 21, and son Luke, 16, as well as Emma’s sister Amanda.

“It is such a horrendous time for all the hospital staff,” said Emma. “It is not just the doctors and nurses, but also the ambulance drivers, the cleaners, the caterers, all of them.

It took three days to turn 15,000 stems into 1,200 bouquets of flowers as a thank you to hospital staff on the frontline in the fight against the coronavirus. Picture: Emma StoreyIt took three days to turn 15,000 stems into 1,200 bouquets of flowers as a thank you to hospital staff on the frontline in the fight against the coronavirus. Picture: Emma Storey

“We cannot do anything to help them as they try to care for people, but I thought that if we can at least help put a smile on their faces when they leave work today by giving them a bouquet that is what we would try to do.

“It lets them know that we are all thinking about them and wishing them all the best. We appreciate everything they are doing.”

The 1,200 bouquets of flowers being delivered for staff at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. Picture: Emma StoreyThe 1,200 bouquets of flowers being delivered for staff at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. Picture: Emma Storey

The idea was partly inspired by seeing how important sending flowers was proving to people separated from loved ones during the lockdown.

“The shop is at home and because it is just me I have been able to work on my own and have been delivering to people,” she said.

Staff were given one of 1,200 bouquets of flowers as a mark of appreciation for the hardwork at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. Picture: Emma StoreyStaff were given one of 1,200 bouquets of flowers as a mark of appreciation for the hardwork at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. Picture: Emma Storey

“It is probably taking half an hour to take every phone order at the moment because everyone wants to talk about what their circumstances are and what the bouquet means. Then the next day I have the person who I have given that bouquet phone to thank me.

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“That is what got me thinking about doing this for the hospital staff to show them just how much we appreciate them.”

A hospital spokeswoman said: “We really appreciate Emms Stems donating flowers to give away to our hardworking staff. It really does make a difference so thank you so much.”

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