A HAMPSHIRE hospice celebrated its 25th anniversary by hosting a cream tea and unveiling a Tower of London-style tribute to loved ones.

A total of 250 people attended the event at Oakhaven Hospice in Lower Pennington Lane, Lymington, which was founded by Phoebe Coates in memory of her husband John.

Guests were able to admire a sea of 1,000 ceramic forget-me-knots displayed in the grounds.

It follows a similar event held at the Tower of London in 2014 to commemorate almost one million British and Commonwealth soldiers killed during the First World War.

The Oakhaven flowers were designed and manufactured by Johnson Tiles, which also made the London poppies.

Earlier this year the hospice announced that each forget-me-not could be bought for a minimum donation of £30.

Most have already been purchased in memory of friends and relatives, which means Oakhaven is well on the way towards achieving its fundraising target of £20,000.

Mike Denny, head of fundraising and communications, described the cream tea as a “fabulous” event.

He thanked the sponsors, Thesis Asset Management, his fundraising team and all the volunteers who helped out the day, saying everyone worked tirelessly to ensure the event was a success.

Other fundraisers this year include Oakhaven’s annual family fun day on June 24 and a foam fest obstacle course at Gang Warily sports centre on July 16.

Mr Denny said: “Later in the year there will be a service of thanksgiving at St Thomas Church, Lymington, for our 25 years, and a gala dinner at Stanwell House, Lymington, in November.

“A 25th anniversary appeal is also set to be launched in the autumn.”

Oakhaven began as a charitable trust in the late 1980s when the land and original buildings, previously a family home, were donated by the Coates family.

The hospice was officially opened in May 1992 by the Duchess of Kent.

It provides vital help to people across the New Forest and Waterside areas, including an in-patient unit and a day hospice, plus bereavement counselling and a hospice-at-home service.

Actress Susan Hampshire opened one of several facilities that have either been built or refurbished at Oakhaven in the past few years.

But annual running costs total £4 million, of which 11 per cent is supplied by the NHS. The rest of the cash comes from legacies and donations, plus Oakhaven’s own fundraising events.