Now’s the perfect time to prepare for your outdoor space to be blooming with colour this summer. That’s why our neighbourhood fund is partnering with Armitage CofE Primary School on our Summer of Sunflowers campaign, to distribute thousands of seeds to primary schools throughout Manchester.  

We wanted to commemorate the difficult time the pandemic has brought to many lives in a colourful and optimistic way by celebrating nature. We will be distributing thousands of seeds to primary schools throughout Manchester to encourage each child to grow their own little ray of happiness. 

Hyden Bettles, Food Education Co-ordinator at Armitage CofE Primary School wants to remember those who have lost their lives and bring a little happiness to those who are struggling. 

"Let's add some colour to the local area and brighten up our streets with the ray of sunshine that is a sunflower. I encourage everyone to plant a seed and know that it's a reminder of all the good in the world and that things will be bright once again. Each flower grown will have its own story; who planted it, how it grew, and what it means to you."

By adding some colour to our local areas, we’re hoping to brighten up the neighbourhoods with a sea of sunflowers. We’re giving away packets of sunflower seeds so that you can get involved and grow in your garden or on your balcony. All you need to do is email to get your hands on a packet and get growing. 

Here are some steps to get started with sewing your seeds:  

  1. Get your soil disk and put it on the plate or in the bowl of water until it has expanded and soaked up the water.  
  2. Your soil disk will be ready when all the soil inside is wet and it has grown in size.  
  3. With your finger, make a little well in the middle of the soil for your seed to go in (not too deep). 
  4. Get your sunflower seed and put inside the well and cover back over with soil. 
  5. Place your soil pot on a plate with some water and keep near a window for light. Remember to water your seed every day. 
  6. When your seed has leaves and roots coming underneath it’s ready to put into a plant pot or put in your garden. 

You can share your sunflowers stories and pictures with us by using the complete our ‘Story of Me’ template or printing the poster to colour in and display in your window to let everyone know you are taking part. Let us see how yours grow by emailing a photo to or share with us on Twitter with the hashtag #MCRsunflowers or our Facebook page.