VOLUNTEERS braved the rain to lay flowers on thousands of graves in Parkstone Cemetery yesterday.

More than 40 people took part, taking three hours to place a single flower on the grave of each of the 5,000 or so locals who have passed away and are buried there, some of whose names are no longer visible.

The Easter Flowerthon was organised by 27-year-old Rachael Edis, of Canford Heath, who came up with the idea after noticing how many graves were bare while visiting her mother’s final resting place.

Rachael’s mother, Linda Adamczyk, lost her battle with cancer in 2012, aged 64.

“It was pouring down with rain, which I thought would put people off, but we still had an amazing response on the day and on Facebook,” she said.

“It looks really lovely down there now, nice and colourful.

“I thought while I was visiting mum that while some of the graves are always colourful, many are bare. On some of them you can’t even read who they are for any more. We wanted to do something nice for others, even if we don’t know who they are they were important to someone.”

She and her friend Natalie Murphy organised and delivered the flowers, provided by Edward and Co, Kabloom, Co-operative Funeral Care and “the flower man at Wimborne market”, and the volunteers got stuck in.

Some who weren’t able to make it during the afternoon arrived earlier in the day with their own flowers after reading about the event online.

“We have been really pleased at the response we have had,” added Rachael.

“It would be nice to do it again in future. There are lots of cemeteries around here so we might go somewhere else and try to get more people involved.”