Light a can­dle in mem­ory of late loved ones

Hospice invit­ing peo­ple to make a fes­tice ded­i­ca­tion

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - by Camilla Good­man camilla.good­man@trin­i­tymir­ror.com Twit­ter: Camil­la_Good­man

AS Christ­mas ap­proaches, a hospice is invit­ing peo­ple to ded­i­cate a light to re­mem­ber fam­ily and friends no longer with us.

Any­one can ded­i­cate a light in the Hospice of St Fran­cis’ Light Up a Life Ap­peal in mem­ory of some­one spe­cial and ded­i­ca­tion cards will be dis­played at the hospice over the Christ­mas pe­riod.

On Sun­day, De­cem­ber 6, the lights on the hospice’s Re­mem­brance Tree will be il­lu­mi­nated and will burn through­out the fes­tive sea­son, sym­bol­is­ing the bright­ness and joy that spe­cial peo­ple have brought to peo­ple’s lives.

Chris Green and his chil­dren Tom, 15, and Flor­rie, 12, will be ded­i­cat­ing a light this year in mem­ory of their wife and mum Sarah, who spent five weeks at the hospice fol­low­ing a can­cer di­ag­no­sis in 2012, and died at the hospice in March last year, aged 46.

As well as car­ing for Mrs Green through­out her ill­ness, the hospice has also con­tin­ued to sup­port Tom and Flor­rie who, along­side their dad, have both at­tended the Teen Cook­ing with Chris Course, which uses food as ther­apy.

Flor­rie also at­tends Draw­bridge, a chil­dren’s art ther­apy group while Tom at­tends the teen drop-in group.

Mr Green said: “It’s hard to be­lieve that it’s over 18 months since Sarah was ad­mit­ted to the hospice.

“What stands out for me is that even though their mum died here, the chil­dren have never not wanted to come back.

“I can never thank the hospice enough for pro­vid­ing such fan­tas­tic care for Sarah and for con­tin­u­ing to pro­vide sup­port for fam­i­lies like ours. This year, we are ded­i­cat­ing a light in mem­ory of her – she was such a lovely warm per­son, a really tac­tile, car­ing mum.”

The hospice is preparing to care for many pa­tients and fam­i­lies who will need sup­port through­out this Christ­mas pe­riod, but to help en­sure that those fac­ing loss re­ceive the care they need, £4.8m a year needs to be raised, with just a fifth com­ing from the NHS.

Ded­i­cat­ing a light in mem­ory of some­one spe­cial is free, but the hospice is grate­ful for any do­na­tions re­ceived for its Light up a Life Ap­peal to help sup­port its work over the Christ­mas pe­riod and be­yond.

A do­na­tion of £12 could pro­vide toys and mem­ory books for a be­reaved child while £34 could pay for lunch for a fam­ily spend­ing Christ­mas in the hospice.

Hospice CEO Steve Jamieson said: “It’s at Christ­mas when the loss of loved ones is most keenly felt and we know the sym­bol­ism of hav­ing lights burn­ing brightly on our Re­mem­brance Tree brings com­fort at a poignant time. We en­cour­age any­one to ded­i­cate a light. Last year we re­ceived over 1,000 ded­i­ca­tions in mem­ory of spe­cial peo­ple who have touched our lives.

“I’d also like to ex­press my sin­cere thanks to all our clin­i­cal staff and vol­un­teers who work tire­lessly through­out the year, par­tic­u­larly at Christ­mas. They en­sure that pa­tients be­ing cared for in our build­ing or at home enjoy a spe­cial time with their fam­i­lies.”

To ded­i­cate a light, and make an op­tional do­na­tion, con­tact the hospice on 01442 869 555.

To re­quest a ded­i­ca­tion form or ded­i­cate a light on­line go to www.stfran­cis.org.uk/ligh­tu­pal­ife.

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