The mother of a woman who was supported by St Giles Hospice is inviting people to make a special dedication to the memory of their loved ones at the charity’s Light up a Life services this Christmas.
Kathy Jones attended her first Light up a Life service last December just months after her daughter Laura Britton died at St Giles in May 2018.
Each year families come together for the poignant events, arranged across the region by St Giles, which offer them the chance to remember family, friends and colleagues at this special time of the year.
People take part in Light up a Life by dedicating a light on one of the charity’s Christmas trees, writing a message for the Book of Memories and joining St Giles at one of their special services, where they are invited to see their lights being switched on and to view their messages in the Book of Memories.
Kathy, who lives in Uttoxeter, said: “It was the first Christmas since Laura died so, as a way to remember Laura and thank St Giles for the way they cared for her, we decided to make a dedication through Light up a Life and attend a service.
“It’s good to have an opportunity for people to come together to remember their loved ones. My husband and I went along to the service and Laura’s father came up from Bristol to be with us. It was very emotional but very fitting and I’m so glad we took part.
“I’m not a religious person but I found the service, poems and readings very moving. Laura always loved to be the centre of things so she’d have been delighted to see us there to keep her memory alive.”
Laura was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016, when she was 38. While receiving treatment she attended the St Giles Day Hospice and was supported by a community nurse, but the disease quickly spread and Laura eventually went into the hospice during her last days.
“We were so fortunate to be referred to St Giles during Laura’s cancer treatment and her end-of-life care,” Kathy said. “I don’t know what we would have done without them. It was such a relief to us all. Everybody was so kind, from the volunteer tea lady to the people in charge. She really couldn’t have been better cared for.”
St Giles Hospice Director of Fundraising Elinor Eustace said: “Our Light up a Life services give families like Kathy’s the opportunity to come together to celebrate the lives of their loved ones and the chance to support the work of the hospice.
“We are delighted that Light up a Life means so much to people in our local community and the services are open to anyone, not just those people who have been supported by St Giles.”
Dedications can be made online at www.stgileshospice.com/lightupalife before November 22nd or by calling 01543 432538. For further information about Light up a Life please contact the Supporter Care Team on the same number or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Everyone who dedicates a light will receive a special keepsake Light up a Life card to display at Christmas time, featuring the name of their loved one, their personal message and this year’s Light up a Life poem.
The name of loved ones and personal messages will be included in the Book of Memories, which is available to view at all of the Light up a Life services. The Book of Memories will also be available to view in St Giles hospices and some service locations throughout 2020.
St Giles Hospice would like to thank Lilies Funeral Directors for their sponsorship of this year’s Light up a Life services.
Light up a Life services 2019
Saturday 30th November, 4pm
Aldridge Methodist Church
Sunday 1st December, 6pm
St Modwen’s Church, Burton upon Trent
Sunday 1st December, 6:30pm
Four Oaks Methodist Church, Sutton Coldfield
Sunday 1st December, 3pm
St Mary the Virgin Church, Uttoxeter
Thursday 5th December, 6.30pm
Outdoor service at St Giles Hospice, Whittington
Saturday 7th December, 4pm
Outdoor service at St Giles Hospice, Sutton Coldfield
Saturday 7th December, 6pm
St Editha’s Church, Tamworth
Sunday 8th December, 6pm
St Luke’s Church, Cannock
Sunday 8th December, 6:30pm
Outdoor service at Lichfield Cathedral
PICTURE CAPTION: Kathy Jones and husband Alan with daughter Laura Britton (centre).