Remembering our loved ones through Light up a Life

Last night saw the return of Light up a Life, our special remembrance event where loved ones gather together to reflect and celebrate the lives of those who are no longer with us.

Held at Event Northumbria, some 500 guests attended in person to join in with our shared act of remembrance led by Davina Radford, Spiritual Care Lead at the Hospice, with over 850 more tuning in to the event livestream online.

Musical entertainment was provided by Robson’s Choice in our marketplace area ahead of the event opening and Newcastle Concert Band, who played a selection of festive favourites as people arrived to take their seats, and later accompanied The Gathering of the Stars procession ahead of the tree lighting.

The evening opened with a warm welcome from Steph Edusei, Chief Executive of St Oswald’s Hospice followed by a short time of reflection led by Fiona Boyd, Volunteer Chaplain.

Throughout the evening, we enjoyed contributions from Hospice Nursing Staff, and family members and loved ones connected to the hospice. This included a beautiful song performed by Lauren Hanlon in memory of her auntie Joanne and a gorgeous reading of The Memory Tree written by Britta Teckentrup, read by Willow Henderson and Everly Waugh in memory of their mum, alongside Beth Gregan from our Children’s Bereavement Team.

The lights on our Tree of Remembrance were switched on by the family of Joyce Doherty, a lovely lady who spent her final days at St Oswald’s Hospice. The family shared how deeply they had benefitted from the work of the Hospice and the support they received when they needed it the most.

As thousands of lights illuminated the tree, we listened to Tree of Light written and read by Gwen Hollingsworth, Auxiliary Nurse.

The evening drew to a close, with Newcastle Concert Band and Lauren Hanlon leading everyone in a rendition of White Christmas.

To date, our amazing community of supporters have helped raise £89,000 by remembering their loved ones through Light up a Life.

We’d like to extend an enormous thank you to all who have helped in bringing this event together including Hospice staff and volunteers, all those who have contributed to and participated in our Light up a Life service, Northern Christmas Trees in Gosforth for our brilliant tree, Britta Teckentrup for permission to use her story and the staff at Event Northumbria.

Lastly, but by no means least, we’re incredibly grateful and proud of the families who contributed to our service including Lauren Hanlon, Willow Henderson, Everly Waugh and the family of Joyce Doherty.

View images from the night below:

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