• Wed. Apr 24th, 2024

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

Families gather to celebrate the lives of loved ones and thank Butterwick Hospice Care

SERVICES have been held in the gardens of a North-East hospice to help people remember loved ones they have lost this year.

Families gathered for the Light Up a Life services, which are held every Christmas at Butterwick Hospice’s Stockton and Bishop Auckland locations.

Among those who attended were members of the Nicol family, there to celebrate the life of Andrea Nicol, who died in November 2020.

Andrea’s husband Bill, who attended with the couple’s son, Ian, and their daughter-in-law, Angela, said: “Butterwick was there for Andrea right until the end. It’s nice to see the lights. Because of the restrictions, this is the first chance we’ve had to come here together and celebrate my wife’s life.”

Dedications to loved ones were read out during the ceremony alongside a selection of meaningful poems, before lights decorating a Christmas tree were switched on – each light symbolising the life of someone dearly missed and a donation made in their memory to the charity.

Members of the Shildon Railway Institute Singers and the Manfield Warblers choirs also performed songs during the service.

Debbie Jones, chief executive of Butterwick Hospice Care, sent a message of thanks for staff and supporters. She said: “Light Up a Life is an opportunity to celebrate and remember those we have held dear. On behalf of the hospice, I want to say thank you to everyone for their support and compassion during what has been a very difficult year for the charity.

“Your support gives a light of hope others. Thank you for being there for Butterwick this Christmas.”

Following the readings, messages of love from supporters were hung on the trees.

Jill Jones, a Tees Valley independent celebrant who performed the ceremonies, said: “Christmas is a time to celebrate and remember the lives of people we have loved.

“As long as we remember them, we keep their light alive. As long as we have light, we have hope. Some days, you will be the light for other people, and other days, they will be your light.

“We all share a hope that things will get better, but together we will shine.”