A poignant appeal which remembers loved ones returns to St Catherine’s Hospice next month, and is set to be extra special as the charity’s year of 30th anniversary commemorations draws to a close.
‘Light Up A Life’ is one of the hospice’s most precious and meaningful events, set up soon after it opened its doors in 1985.
“Everyone is there together when the lights are switched on for the same reason, and you know you are not alone in how you are feeling.”St Catherine’s volunteer Karen Gahagan
It offers the chance to remember those who have died with a light in the beautiful hospice grounds of St Catherine’s Park in Lostock Lane, Lostock Hall.
They shine out brightly over Christmas and into the new year, and dedications are welcome in memory of anyone, not only those who have experienced the specialised care of St Catherine’s over the past 30 years.
The money raised through tributes is used to support the hospice’s services for people who are facing life-shortening conditions such as cancer, motor neurone disease, heart failure and Parkinson’s disease.
St Catherine’s volunteer Karen Gahagan has remembered her mum Marjorie and sister Christine Watson through Light Up A Life for the past 10 years.
She said: “The first year we did it was for my mum and Christine was there with me - she loved Light Up A Life, she thought it was magical.
“It was hard because at that point we knew she too had cancer, and sadly by the time the following year came around we were lighting a light for Christine too.
“It’s certainly the most special hospice event of the year to me and I know lots of people who feel the same.
“For some it can be a very raw experience, they might have only lost someone quite recently. But everyone is there together when the lights are switched on for the same reason, and you know you are not alone in how you are feeling.”
She added: “Christmas is a time for family and for memories, and I think that’s also why Light Up A Life feels so poignant - it’s important that even if those special people can’t be with us to join in the celebrations, it doesn’t mean they’re not in our thoughts.”
The switch-on takes place from 5.30pm on Tuesday, December 1. The special Light Up A Life book featuring the names of those remembered will be on display, and the lights will be switched on at 6.30pm following a short dedication service.
The Mill cafe will also be open until 8pm serving hot pot suppers, giving the chance for people to enjoy a meal together before or after the switch-on.
Dedications are welcome throughout November and December, although if you would like to see the name of your loved one in the book at the switch-on event, the hospice requires your dedication by November 27 to ensure it can be added in time.
To make a dedication, visit www.stcatherines.co.uk or call 01772 629171.
Pre-bookings for The Mill are also recommended - to reserve a table call 01772 695277 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.