A CHESTER-BASED project to raise awareness of rare neuromuscular conditions is to mark its 10th year of being in full bloom.

The Big Sunflower Project aims to raise awareness of conditions known as centronuclear and myotubular myopathy by asking people to grow a sunflower.

Since 2011 the project has given away sunflower seeds in return for photos of the sunflowers, which are displayed on social media.

The project was created by Toni Abram from Chester, who along with her father Mike is diagnosed with centronuclear myopathy.

Toni said: "The Big Sunflower Project raises awareness by sending sunflower seeds to people who have never heard of centronuclear and myotubular myopathy and requesting photos in return.

"Each year the photos are posted online which again raises awareness of the conditions.

"The project was only intended to be for one year but 2020 is the 10th year of the project and seeds are now sent to schools and nurseries, community groups, groups who work with disadvantaged people, hospices and youth groups to name a few.

"So as well as raising awareness of centronuclear and myotubular myopathy, the project supports the activities of these groups."

The project now has a global reach too, with sunflowers having been grown not only in the UK but across Europe, Argentina, Australia, Canada, South Africa and the USA.

Anyone wishing to apply for seeds can do so via the project website at thebigsunflowerproject.com, where stories and photos about past projects can be found, together with information about the history of the project and on how to grow and harvest sunflower seeds can be found.

Participants are added to the map and invited to interact with others on the project social media pages.