St Clare Hospice’s Light up a Life services help local people remember those they love

Charity / Wed 3rd Nov 2021 at 09:38am

ST Clare Hospice is hosting three special ‘Light up a Life’ memorial services this December to give families the opportunity to remember and celebrate the lives of lost loved ones. The ceremonies will see local people gather in three COVID-secure outdoor services, alongside others who understand how it feels to miss someone at Christmas-time.

“The festive period can be emotional when you are missing a loved one, whether the bereavement is recent or after many years.” Sarah Thompson, St Clare Hospice CEO said “This year we would like to share the heartfelt words of Tommy with you. Tommy is one of our young supporters (age 8) whose dad (Wayne Hann) was cared for by our nursing teams when he had cancer and who died aged 38 last October.

Tommy, who lives in Harlow, said: “Daddy stayed in St Clare Hospice’s Inpatient Unit for two weeks before he died. It was during COVID so I would go to see him after school. I was staying with my Nanny and Grandad, as Mummy stayed by Daddy’s side at the Inpatient Unit.  Mummy always says that me and Daddy were two peas in a pod – we had the same hobbies and always did everything together. I only got to spend seven years with Daddy, but he was – and still is – my best friend and my hero. We made the best memories together in the time that we had. This year will be my second Christmas without Daddy. I miss him so much. I know there are other families who will also be missing people who have died too.”

Tommy and his Mum, Leah, will attend one of the three services being held at St Clare Hospice, Hastingwood. They will also take part in the new children’s art and craft activity, which is being held directly before each service and run by the St Clare Child Bereavement Team.

The three Light up a Life services are being held at St Clare Hospice on the following dates:

·         Thursday 16th December, 7–8pm

·         Saturday 18th December, 3–4pm

·         Saturday 18th December, 7–8pm

All events are ticketed which will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis – tickets can be booked on the St Clare website (insert link). The multifaith services are open to everyone, whether they have a faith or none, and are open to all, not just for families whose loved ones have been cared for by St Clare.

There are a number of Light up a Life events taking place in various places across the Hospice’s catchment area. These include:

·         Loughton: Saturday 27th November 2021, 4.30 pm – 5.30 pm, Methodist Church, 260 High Road, Loughton, IG10 1RB

·         Ongar: Thursday 2nd December 2021, 4.30 pm – 5.30 pm, St Martin’s Church

High Street, Ongar, CM5 9AT

·         Waltham Abbey: Thursday 2nd December 2021, 7pm – 8pm, Abbey Farmhouse, Abbey Gardens, Waltham Abbey, Essex EN9 1DT

·         Chigwell: Thursday 9th December 2021, 7pm – 8pm, St Mary’s Church, Roding Ln, High Road, Chigwell, IG7 6QE

Sarah added “As always, St Clare will be offering local people the opportunity to make a personal dedication in our Book of Remembrance. Just like our specialist care, taking part in Light up a Life is free. However, if you would like to make a donation alongside your loved one’s dedication, it would be greatly appreciated by both the Hospice, and local people who benefit from our care. As an independent charity, St Clare has to raise more than £8,000 every single day to run our hospice services. Therefore, each donation is vital in ensuring our care is there, when and where it is needed, both in people’s own homes and at our Inpatient Unit.”

For information about the Light up a Life services, requesting a dedication Star, or adding a name to the Book of Remembrance, visit stclarehospice.org.uk/light-up-a-life or get in touch with the Hospice team on 01279 773750 or [email protected]

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