Light up a Life
Weldmar Hospicecare is hosting the annual Light up a Life services in November and December
Every year, thousands of people remember and celebrate the lives of loved ones through lights sponsored in their name. Light up a Life is for everyone – not only for the many patients and families Weldmar has helped.
The annual appeal enables families, friends, and supporters of Weldmar to give donations in memory of a loved one. It raises vital funds for Weldmar’s work by encouraging people to dedicate a light on one of the trees in memory of those who have died.
Val Gratton of Lyme Regis will be attending her third Light up a Life event, which is one of six held around the area.
Val said “For me it’s not about remembering someone, as Mickie is always in my thoughts. It gives you the chance to press the pause button, when you are so busy before Christmas with shopping and buying presents. We all have our traditions at Christmas and when you have lost someone you have to make new traditions, as there’s a big hole where that person used to be.”
The event Val attends in Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens features a string quartet, with readings and carols. She has attended since 2015, when she lost Mickie to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD).The pair had been married for more than 40 years and had three daughters together.
Weldmar became involved with them in 2014, when Mickie was starting to deteriorate and Val says the staff and volunteers were ‘amazing’ in caring for them both.
They had a volunteer coming in to offer therapy to help him relax, and community nurses would visit. He stayed at the hospice twice, and ‘felt happy and safe’ despite being prone to terrible panic attacks.
Val said: “The hospice moved us into a larger room, and our daughters came with the babies. The room gave us the chance to be normal, to chat about ordinary things surrounded by baby paraphernalia and just be a family. They were so considerate. Light up a Life gives you a chance to reflect on that person who’s not going to be there. You share similar emotions to everyone there and that is reassuring and comforting.”
The services will take place in November and December, as this is often the time when the feelings of loss are strongest. The services are a combination of readings and singing of carols which are supported by local community musicians and singers.
Everyone for whom a donation is made is remembered through the lights that will shine on one of Weldmar’s special trees; and their names will be recorded in the charity’s 2017 Book of Remembrance.
Caroline Hamblett, Weldmar’s Chief Executive said: “If you are missing someone this Christmas, our services offer a way to remember them in the most magical and moving way, by lighting up the memory of their life. Your continued support enables us to be here to provide vital services to local people at the time when they need us most.”
The services will be held on:
- Wednesday 29th November – Castle Gardens, Sherborne – 6.30pm
- Thursday 30th November – Orchard Park Garden Centre, Gillingham – 6.30pm
- Sunday 3rd December – Holme for Gardens, Wareham – 4pm
- Tuesday 5th December – Joseph Weld Hospice, Dorchester – 6.30pm
- Sunday 10th December – Hope Square, Brewer’s Quay, Weymouth – 4.30pm
- Tuesday 12th December – Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens – 4.30pm
There will be a prayer of remembrance and dedication during the Parish Carol Service in St Michael’s Church, Lyme Regis on Sunday 17th December at 4pm.