FAMILY run business Weaverham Hardware has been sowing the seeds to raise smiles and money for St Luke’s (Cheshire) Hospice.

The long-established business, on Lime Avenue, has raised £300 for the palliative care hospice by growing and selling sunflowers for £1 and match funding each purchase.

Owner Barry Starnes said the store has been supporting St Luke’s since 2006 after his brother Roger was looked after by the Winsford-based hospice.

He said: “It’s a wonderful cause. I remember my brother saying how fantastic the staff all were there and how they couldn’t do enough for him.

“These places cost such a lot of money to run and especially at times like this they need our help more than ever.

“It’s nice to think that we’ve helped the hospice a little and brought a smile to our customers' faces. Sunflowers are such a lovely, bright and hopeful flower.”

The shop, which opened in 1989, has been a key part of the village ever since.

Although COVID 19 caused it to close temporarily at the start of lockdown, it has run a door-counter ‘personal shopper’ service since late April, and Barry was delighted to fully open again to the public on Monday, July 27.

He said: “We have been very busy and we’re really happy to welcome back lots of our regular customers who have supported us so much over the years.”

Barry’s loyal and long-serving workforce is managed by his daughter Emma and her fiancé Graham Egerton. Barry’s wife Jan, along with David Collins, Paul Joynson, Lesley Johnson and James Hodgkinson, make up the rest of the team.

Weaverham Hardware sells a range of items covering car accessories, household goods, DIY, gardening, plumbing, Harris bottled gas, electrical and small appliances such as kettles, irons and toasters.

The store also sells pet food and bird food and services include key cutting and watch battery fitting.