Creating memories with Trees of Love
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