Suffolk’s biggest daisy chain takes shape in Stowmarket

May 16, 2024
May 16, 2024
James Powell

An art installation consisting of a giant daisy chain has been created as part of Suffolk Libraries’ Make a Difference with a Daisy fundraising campaign.

Make a Difference with a Daisy focuses on the humble daisy as a symbol of resilience and positivity. Suffolk Libraries is working with Framlingham artist, Spadge Hopkins, to create an art installation of individual metal daisies arranged in a chain representing the joined-up network of libraries across Suffolk.  

The charity held a special event on Tuesday 30 April at Stowmarket Food Museum where library staff, patrons and supporters came together to see the installation for the first time which will become Suffolk’s biggest daisy chain. The daisy chain will grow over the summer but will initially include over 100 daisies.

The daisy artworks were created for Suffolk Libraries fundraising by Spadge who was one of the artists involved in last year's successful Paws-itivity campaign. This featured over 40 colourful dog sculptures. Spadge also designed the trail of cormorant sculptures alongside the River Deben at Woodbridge.  

The installation will be on display to visitors to the museum from 1 May until September and will grow in size as more donors come forward to support the campaign. All donations are welcome but any individual donating at least £50 will receive one of the metal daisies from the installation along with a certificate of authenticity. Donations of £150 or more receive a larger 25cm daisy which will be engraved with the name of the business or individual donating. Quite a few of the donations that have already been made recognise a loved one and has been done in their memory. Local groups and businesses can also get involved by making minimum donations of £500 and having their name engraved on larger daisies also designed by Spadge Hopkins.

Even prisoners at HMP Warren Hill near Woodbridge have been getting involved by making 200 metal stems for the daisy installation in their metal workshop. Suffolk Libraries works closely with the prison as it has run the prison library there for many years.  

Make a Difference with a Daisy is being sponsored by SmartestEnergy, an Ipswich-based people-

powered energy company empowering customers, generators and partners to get to net zero. Their team of charity ambassadors are thinking up all sorts of ways that they can raise additional funds for Suffolk Libraries work as a charity across Suffolk's communities and their team lifted the large centrepiece daisy into place at the launch event.

Nicole Lee from Smartest Energy said:

"We were very proud to lift the daisy as the centrepiece at the opening ceremony of Suffolk Libraries' transformative campaign, 'Make a difference with a daisy!'. Our sponsorship drives forward our support for local communities and Suffolk Libraries’ vital role in creating a haven for all across the county. This marks our second year sponsoring Suffolk Libraries, following the success of the Paws-itivity campaign. We're thrilled to collaborate once more with their team, building on our shared commitment to positive change.”

Bruce Leeke, Chief Executive of Suffolk Libraries, said:

“Daisies, like our libraries, are a symbol of positivity which thrive in the most challenging of conditions and environments but still bring joy to many. We’re thrilled with how many people and organisations have already come forward to support our latest fundraising campaign and it’s really exciting to see the idea come together as we start to build our daisy chain! Everyone really can Make a Difference with a Daisy by supporting the work of Suffolk Libraries in connecting communities, tackling isolation and improving wellbeing across the county. We’re very grateful to our main sponsors SmartestEnergy for their support for our campaign this year, to the Food Museum for hosting us and to everyone else who supports Suffolk Libraries.”

Sam Coe, the Deputy Director at the Food Museum, added:

“The Food Museum is delighted to be hosting this installation, which will ‘grow’ on the gardens in front of Abbott’s Hall. We look forward to welcoming guests on site to see the Daisy Chain and encourage them to look around and explore all the Food Museum has to offer whilst with us.”

Each of Suffolk's libraries are getting involved in different ways to raise funds and the many Knit and Natter groups that meet at the libraries are creating hundreds of daisies that can be worn on your lapel to show your support in return for a donation. Many events as part of the recent Suffolk Libraries Day in March had a daisy theme too.

You can find out information about Make a Difference with a Daisy and how to donate at or by emailing Alex Downing, Suffolk Libraries Fundraising and Partnerships Manager, at  

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