A Hampton Hill pet sitter turned florist is thanking community heroes with bouquets of flowers.
Lucy Alboni, 53, asked residents of Hampton, Teddington, Twickenham and Whitton to nominate people in the community who have gone above and beyond to help others during the pandemic.
Honeyball and the Flowers delivers seasonal UK-grown flowers and Ms Alboni launched the business at the beginning of lockdown.
Ms Alboni said: “A lot of people have given their time and risked their health to help neighbours and colleagues. They all deserve a big thank you.”
The flowers delivered were from Ms Alboni’s garden, supplemented with stems from Beehaven Flowers in Ockham.
Ms Alboni noted the popularity of Tracey Hathaway and Melissa Gillings from Hampton & Richmond Borough Football Club.
For the past couple of years the pair collected donations on match days for The Trussell Trust food bank in Richmond.
Since food banks closed for lockdown, Ms Hathaway and Ms Gillings have worked with the Greenwood Community Centre to arrange food deliveries for those in need.
Ms Hathaway said: “We decided to do it for the local people that were either isolating, too scared to go out, lost their jobs or were just struggling. Whatever anyone asks for, we try and provide.”
They placed donation boxes outside the Jolly Cooper’s restaurant in Hampton and fans of Hampton & Richmond Borough FC volunteered to collect donations from neighbours.
Beyond food deliveries, they have provided arts and craft packs, books and toys to families struggling to entertain their children at home, knitting kits for the elderly as well as large print word search books for those with poor eyesight.
Several nominations also went to Meet and Deep, a family-run newsagent in Twickenham.
While Ms Alboni delivered the flowers to their Hampton Road shop, customers in the queue outside told her about the family’s generosity during lockdown.
As Covid-19 began making headlines in the UK, Ms Alboni’s clients cancelled holidays and her work as a pet sitter petered out.
This prompted her to launch Honeyball and the Flowers, with an aim to incorporate the flower deliveries into her pet sitting rounds when they resume.
She said: “I thought it’s now or never. I have time to get this going and see if it’s doable.”
Ms Alboni distributes a selection of seasonally grown flowers that are not cultivated using pesticides and herbicides.
Ms Alboni’s flowers can be ordered from www.lucyhoneyballflowers.co.uk.