A Battersea florist is encouraging us to thank key workers and boost morale by passing on the joy of flowers on Just Giving.
Fiona McLaughlin, an events florist, set up The Floral Flat White asking people to donate the cost of their usual ‘commute coffee’ towards buying flowers and delivering them to key workers across London.
She described key workers as anyone who has to go out to work at the moment, including: cleaners, refuse collectors, shop workers and NHS staff.
She said: “I think a lot of people feel quite helpless in this situation, I do. This allows us to do something positive.”
She added: “Giving flowers is all about hope and joy, and mental health is so important.
“Don’t underestimate the power of the kindness of strangers.
“Receiving these flowers will give people an uplifting morale boost at the end of a long and difficult day.”
Fiona estimates the average cup of coffee in London at £3.00 and business newspaper City am in September 2018 reported a Londoner’s average coffee spend at £30.50 per month.
She estimates the cost of a thank you bouquet at £15: five cups of coffee.
This will buy low cost flowers from British growers, including Crosslands Flower Nursery in West Sussex and BJ Richards Flowers in Cornwall, who have flowers they need to sell.
Fiona will make single variety bouquets wrapped in brown paper, in her home in Price’s Court, where she runs her business, Fiona Fleur.
The Floral Flat White is a not for profit, and Fiona is not taking any payment for this work.
Anyone can nominate a key worker to receive a floral flat white bouquet on Instagram @fionafleurdesign, more than 40 nominations have been received.
Tim Bennett who works for Zest Flowers in New Covent Garden Market, will deliver the flowers.
Fiona explained all Covid-19 precautions would be taken, including wearing gloves to prepare the bouquets and social distancing on delivery.
If further restrictions make it impossible for The Floral Flat White to continue, the money will be donated to a mental health charity such as Mind.
She hopes to capture the surprise and delight of the delivery and document it on instagram.
Fiona started The Floral Flat White on Monday April 6, by Friday 10, donations totalled £813 from 74 supporters, an average donation of £8 per person.
Fiona, 30, found her own love of flowers and set up her business last June.
She learned much of her trade working with events florist Rob Van Heldon.
Rob has been in the business over 30 years, providing flowers for Pierce Brosnan, Elton John, Nelson Mandela, and Princess Eugenie’s wedding.
He echoed Fiona’s words about the benefits of giving and receiving flowers.
Describing The Floral Flat White he said: “It’s a brilliant idea, Fiona is extremely dedicated and hard working, I’m very proud of her and I wish this every success.”
Founder, director and principal CBT therapist at Mindful CBT Natalie Englander has more than ten years’ experience in a range of NHS and private mental health care settings.
She said: “The Floral Flat White initiative is a lovely idea to show appreciation for our amazing key workers and bring them a source of happiness during these testing times.
“It’s also a brilliant opportunity to help boost the wellbeing of those donating…and even those witnessing it.
“Given the significant rise of fear and uncertainty across the globe, switching our focus to acts of kindness and compassion can help to reduce our levels of anxiety.
“It’s important people look after their mental health during this time, and these sorts of things can help keep spirits lifted and spread positivity.”
In December 2019, the Science Times described the psychological effects of receiving flowers as increasing feelings of social bonding, trust, validation and hope, by triggering production of oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin in the brain.