On Friday 24th May, Taking Flight was officially unveiled and opened to the public.

The sun shone brightly on guests and visitors to Trentham Gardens as the ribbon was cut and Taking Flight was declared officially open.

More than 150 guests made up of partners and sponsors of The Butterflies project, along with special guests including the new Lord Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent, Councillor Jackie Barnes, Charlotte’s grandparents Jenny and Antony Thom and children from The Donna Louise witnessed the majesty of Taking Flight for the first time.

Following words of welcome and thanks from The Donna Louise, Jenny and Anthony Thom accompanied by the Lord Mayor, and youngsters Evie, Daisy and Joel Martin, cut the ribbon to much cheering and applause.

Taking Flight is the culmination of nearly 3 years work and showcases 5,000 vibrant blue ceramic butterflies and thousands of stainless-steel butterflies breaking free from a dome-shaped cage. The limited-edition butterflies have been hand-crafted right here in the heart of The Potteries by Johnson Tiles and glazed by Wade Ceramics using clay from local suppliers Valentine Clays.

The Butterflies project was inspired by paintings of butterflies by Charlotte Thom who used the hospice for nearly a decade before her death last year at the age of 20.

The butterflies are on sale now and all funds from sales of butterflies goes directly to funding the work of The Donna Louise Hospice for Children & Young People. The Trentham Estate has generously gifted one free entry into Trentham Gardens for each butterfly sold so that purchasers may have the chance to see their butterflies on display on this iconic artwork.

Taking Flight is located in the Upper Flower Garden in Trentham Gardens and will be on display until early November, after which time the butterflies will be sent to those who have purchased them.

Buy a butterfly