Grieving daughter's random act of kindness to keep her mother's memory alive

Polly Collins with Mum Lynn Collins in 2013 at her Grandson's christening. SWNS
Polly Collins with Mum Lynn Collins in 2013 at her Grandson's christening. SWNS

A grieving daughter is honouring her late mother by carrying on a tradition of gifting flowers to strangers in the street.

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Polly Collins with mum Lynn Collins in London December 2014. SWNS

Polly Collins with mum Lynn Collins in London December 2014. SWNS

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Polly Collins, 39, had always been embaressed by her mother Lynn's bouquets, which she had handed out in the hope of brightening up a stranger's day.

But now, after Lynn's death from cancer earlier this month, she is determined to carry on the tradition, gifting bunches of flowers to people she passes.

“This is my way of keeping my mum's memory alive," said Polly, 39, a hairdresser.

"I used to get really embarrassed when she used to do it. But when I got past that embarrassment I thought that could make someone's day.

“It usually ends in tears. Happy tears - well I hope they are happy tears. People hug me and burst into tears.

"I say to them 'can I give you these flowers in honour of my mum?' and I explain to them the story.

"One lady I gave a bunch of flowers to said her mum was really poorly at the minute and she was so grateful they had cheered her up so much.”

For six years before her death, Polly's mother had handed out bunches of flowers in her hometown of Louth in Lincolnshire.

Tradition

It had started after the death of Polly's grandmother, Betty, who Lynn had always treated to a bouquet on her weekly visits.

After Betty's death aged 84 in 2013, Lynn, 69, continued to take flowers to the care home for staff to distribute to patients.

She then decided to spread the joy beyond the care home by handing bouquets to strangers, stopping people in the street to explain why.

"They were never expensive flowers, she'd just pick up a bunch from the supermarket," said Polly.

Lynn, who married husband Ken Hives on her sick bed in hospital in June, lost her battle with cancer on August 7.

Determined to keep her mum's memory alive, Polly asked friends on Facebook to donate to strangers in her mum's honour – and her salon in Cleethorpes has been inundated.

"My mum would be well chuffed by all this - she always wanted to go viral," she said. "Her husband Ken thinks it's wonderful, it keeps mum's memory alive.”