St Clare Hospice celebrate fifth year of Memory Tree

Charity / Fri 22nd Feb 2019 at 02:00pm

FIVE years after its launch, the iconic Memory Tree at St Clare Hospice continues to offer a special tribute to local families who have lost a loved one.

The Memory Tree is situated at St Clare’s main hospice centre in Hastingwood. Based on an olive tree to symbolise peace and harmony, the Memory Tree is made of a hand-carved trunk and hundreds of metal leaves with personal dedications to lost loved ones.

St Clare’s Memory Tree has stood at the heart of the Hospice since December 2013, with its first bespoke leaves created in January 2014. Since then, the charity has created more than 700 leaves for local families, generating over £90,500 to help fund St Clare’s care and support for those living with a life-limiting illness over the years.

Dan Mackay, from Harlow, belongs to one of hundreds of families who have looked to St Clare’s Memory Tree to honour and remember a loved one. The family first came to know the Hospice after wife and mother, Barbara, received end-of-life care from the organisation during December 2016.

“Both Mum and Dad supported the Hospice because we’re all from Harlow, so it was our local charity providing care and support in our own community,” says Dan. “I think that’s why mum wanted to be at St Clare when it was her time. It was her wish.”

Commenting on the Care that St Clare offered Barbara, Dan says, “I can’t put into words how special it was to us, to have a place where we could just be ourselves during what was a really difficult time. From the first moment we stepped in, we were made to feel like it was our home from home.”

“Knowing that the care provided by St Clare is largely funded by donations has just made our whole family want to give back,” Dan explains. “It just seemed like the perfect tribute for Dad to dedicate a leaf on the St Clare Memory Tree in memory of our Mum.”

Director of Income Generation at St Clare Hospice, Cheryl Armitage, said: “The St Clare Memory Tree has the potential to raise more than £108,000 in donations every single year for St Clare Hospice. That’s enough to fund more than six months of care from our Patient & Family Support team, who offer life-changing practical psychological, emotional and spiritual support to patients and their families throughout West Essex and East Herts.”

There are three types of leaf available for people to make a dedication: bronze, silver and gold, and each carries an inscription to someone special and helps to fund care across the Hospice. For more information, and to order a leaf on St Clare’s Memory Tree, please visit the website at: stclarehospice.org.uk/memory-tree

The St Clare Hospice Memory Tree is kindly sponsored by local building firm, Oakmont Construction.

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