AN electrical company will shine a light on a good cause as it helps the hospice which looked after a grieving widow as she succumbed to a broken heart.
Joyce Vance finally found comfort in the inpatient unit of St Teresa’s Hospice after losing the will to live in the wake of her husband Eric’s death.
Now her daughter Mags Harvey, who runs Harvey Electrical Services with husband Karl, is to try and repay the hospice for its care and kindness to her mum.
The Darlington firm, with the help of suppliers Howdens and Yesss Electrical, has festooned the Woodlands, home to St Teresa’s Hospice, Darlington, with festive illuminations literally shining a light on the plight of the charity whose fundraising attempts have been blighted by COVID-19.
“My dad died six years ago aged 66 and is buried in Masham and mum didn’t cope well at all,” said Mags. “I’m one of triplet girls and none of us realised just how madly in love they were and she went steadily downhill.
“She moved from her home in Bedale to be closer to us but ended up in Darlington Memorial Hospital. It was horrible to see her in hospital and while they did what they could she did not want to die there.
“My brother James was by her side 24/7 and he was her life. But it was only when we moved her to St Teresa’s, which was the best thing I ever did, that she instantly looked more peaceful. It was amazing. She had been hanging on and hanging on and once she got to St Teresa’s she knew that was the right place and she passed away the next day.”
The spectacular display of lights will not only lift the gloom of a COVID-struck year but also mark St Teresa’s Hospice joining the national Light up a Life Appeal, which offers people the opportunity to dedicate a light to someone special.
A dedication and lighting ceremony will be broadcast live from The Woodlands at 3pm on Sunday December 20 and everyone is being invited to attend virtually online, regardless of whether or not their loved one was cared for by the Hospice.
For a donation to St Teresa’s, people will also be able to dedicate a light to a loved one after which they will receive an acknowledgement card from the hospice which they can hang on their Christmas tree or place on the mantlepiece.
Hospice chief executive Jane Bradshaw said: “We are so grateful to Harvey Electrical Services, Howdens and Yesss for their support in helping us put a spotlight on the plight of charities like ours in these difficult times.”
Anyone wanting to dedicate a light should go to www.darlingtonhospice.org.uk/light-up-a-life/ to make a donation and leave a dedication.
The Hospice needs to raise £3m a year to provide free in-patient and community care for people living with life-limiting illnesses and their families in Darlington, South Durham and North Yorkshire.
An emergency appeal launched in March raised more than £100,000 in a matter of weeks and is still running. Donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/campaign/hugtostts.