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Light up a life and remember someone special with Tynedale Hospice at Home


Oct 9, 2017 #charity

With the festive season just around the corner, Tynedale Hospice at Home has launched its Light up a Life campaign.

Through Light up a Life, Tynedale Hospice at Home invites people to remember a loved one who has died by making a donation in their memory.  In return for a donation – no matter how large or small – you will receive a card with your loved one’s name (s) inside and a memory star to write your own message on.  This can be brought to one of the Hospice’s dedicated Light up a Life services or used to hang on your own Christmas tree at home.

Laura Elliott, Fundraising Manager for Tynedale Hospice at Home, said: “Christmas can be a particularly difficult and poignant time for people who have lost someone they love and Light up a Life is all about providing the opportunity for people to remember them.

“As part of the campaign, Tynedale Hospice at Home is hosting three Light up a Life remembrance services where there is an opportunity for quiet reflection to remember those who have died.  These services are family-friendly and are open to people of all faiths, whether you have experienced the services of Tynedale Hospice at Home or not and you don’t have to have made a donation to attend. “

The Light up a Life services are taking place at:

Prudhoe Methodist Church – Saturday, 25 November at 4pm
St Mary’s Church, Ponteland – Sunday, 26 November at 4pm
Hexham Abbey – Saturday, 2 December at 3pm

All funds raised will support the work of Tynedale Hospice at Home which provides palliative nursing care to people in their own homes, Family Support Services and a Hospital Transport Service to people living in Tynedale, West Northumberland, Ponteland and the surrounding areas.

When Pat Johnston, who lives in Fourstones near Hexham, was facing Christmas alone for the first time following the death of Pam, his wife of 45 years, he found that Tynedale Hospice at Home’s Light up Life remembrance service was the perfect way to remember her at what can be a difficult and poignant time.

He said: “I was dreading the first Christmas without Pam.  After 45 years together it was hard to imagine how it would be without her and Christmas in particular, evokes a whole host of memories and of good times that have passed.  I knew it was going to be difficult.”

“Pam died in May 2014 after a battle with cancer.  I was caring for her at home for quite some time but when the district nurse suggested that Tynedale Hospice at Home could provide extra nursing care in her final days I really welcomed their support.  I hadn’t heard of the Hospice before this, but the nurses were a god send. They provided fantastic care for Pam who was able to spend her final days in our home, amongst family and friends, just as she and I both wanted.  The support I received from the nursing team was a wonderful help to me too; just to have someone to talk to and the chance to share a cup of tea whilst I shared my worries made such a difference.

“After Pam passed away I also received support from the Hospice’s Family Support Service and it was enormously helpful.  Being able to talk about what had happened to an objective and listening ear made such a difference. Although Pam and I have two wonderful children and I’ve got a good network of friends around me, I didn’t want to burden them with my worries, they were experiencing their own grief and it didn’t seem fair to offload my worries on top of what they were already having to cope with.

“It was through Tynedale Hospice at Home that I heard about Light up a Life.  I chose to go to the service alone.  As the music started to play and the singing began, I broke down. I knew it was going to be emotional but I hadn’t expected to feel it quite so intensely in the church. What was quite wonderful and totally unexpected though, was that I felt someone’s hand over mine.  The stranger next to me understood exactly how I was feeling and that support and sense of shared understanding was so welcome.  At the end of the service another stranger came up to me quite out of the blue and said that I looked like I could do with a hug, and they hugged me there and then.  I didn’t get their name and I’ve never seen them since that day but that small gesture of support and understanding was truly wonderful. Being part of a shared community of others who were all at the service for similar reasons was a huge comfort.

Pat has been donating to Light up a Life in Pam’s memory and has attended the Hexham Light up a Life service every year since she died.

He added: “It’s a way to taking some time out and remembering our life and love together.”

To make a donation to Light up a Life, or to find out more, please call the Fundraising team on 01434 606 444 or visit www.tynedalehospice.com/event-light-up-a-life

By Emily