Cre­at­ing mem­o­ries with Trees of Love

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Helping Others -

The Pil­grims Hospice is invit­ing peo­ple to cre­ate ‘spe­cial mem­o­ries’ this Christmas through its Trees of Love ser­vices.

The ser­vices, with car­ols, take place si­mul­ta­ne­ously on Satur­day, De­cem­ber 9, at 5pm at the hos­pices in Can­ter­bury, Ash­ford and Thanet.

Other ser­vices are also be­ing held at ad­di­tional venues across the county on other days.

Fes­tive trees bear­ing the pub­lic’s ded­i­ca­tions will be il­lu­mi­nated on the night and stay lit for the fes­tive sea­son.

Th­ese are out­side stand­ing events so peo­ple are ad­vised to wrap up warm and bring a torch. mulled wine and mince pies will be avail­able.

Cate Rus­sell, the char­ity’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, said: “Trees of Love pro­vides a spe­cial and per­sonal way to re­mem­ber those dear to us over Christmas. Any­one is wel­comed at the ser­vices to cel­e­brate the lives of spe­cial loved ones with heart-warming songs.”

Re­tired Dover cou­ple Brenda and Paul Walsh have al­ready pledged their ded­i­ca­tion this year in mem­ory of their daugh­ter Ch­eryl Walsh, who was cared for in 2010 at the Can­ter­bury hospice aged 37.

Brenda said the fam­ily has never for­got­ten the sup­port they re­ceived: “It was in­cred­i­ble. We were never for­got­ten even af­ter Ch­eryl passed away. The hospice al­ways asked af­ter us, of­fer­ing us sup­port and coun­selling.”

She said the first Christmas without Ch­eryl was very dif­fi­cult, but the Trees of Love ser­vice gave the fam­ily some com­fort.

“The first year we came we met some­one who had also lost their daugh­ter. It was a com­fort for us to know we weren’t go­ing through such dif­fi­cult times alone. We now come to the ser­vice ev­ery year and sup­port the hospice in any way we can. This year we are look­ing for­ward to ded­i­cat­ing our dove and shar­ing our mem­o­ries of our beau­ti­ful daugh­ter Ch­eryl.”

Sara Scriven, the Hos­pices’ in­di­vid­ual giv­ing man­ager said: “This can be a very sen­si­tive time of the year for peo­ple who have lost a loved one. We hope by join­ing our re­mem­brance ser­vices and ded­i­cat­ing a dove fam­i­lies can take some com­fort for them­selves and know that they are also help­ing us to con­tinue to care for oth­ers.”

A ded­i­ca­tion of £30 could help Pil­grims to of­fer a spe­cially pre­pared fes­tive din­ner to a pa­tient and their loved one spend­ing Christmas day on one of its wards.

The Civil Ser­vice In­sur­ance So­ci­ety (CSIS) is spon­sor­ing the event.

Satel­lite ser­vices are be­ing held this Satur­day at 5pm at St Ni­cholas Church, Church Lane, New Rom­ney and on Fri­day, De­cem­ber 15 at 4.30pm at Char­ing Cre­ma­to­rium, New Court Wood, Char­ing.

For de­tails or to make your ded­i­ca­tion on the Trees of Love with your per­son­alised mes­sage visit www.pil­grimshos­pices.org/ treesoflove, call 01227 782062 or email sup­porter.re­la­tions@ pil­grimshos­pices.org

So­phie Douch, Sara Scriven, Sabu Paulo, Cate Rus­sell and Heather Cun­ning­ham at the launch of the ser­vice

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