Light a candle in memory of late loved ones
Hospice inviting people to make a festice dedication
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.