HUNDREDS of floating lights are expected to fill a North-East lake this month in aid of a vital charity.

The Floating Thoughts appeal allows people to cast a floating lantern out on the water, in memory of someone they love.

The spectacle, which is organised by Butterwick Hospice gives members of the public a beautiful and original way to remember loved-ones, and to raise money towards the charity’s important work.

Everyone taking part can add their own messages and designs to the biodegradable lanterns, before setting them adrift on the lake at Hardwick Park, near Sedgefield.

The lake teemed with more than 150 lanterns during last year’s appeal, and fundraiser, Milly Toner, hopes for even more this time. She said: “When we lose someone we love, they never truly leave us. We always remember them, and the love we shared.

“Floating Thoughts gives us a chance to do something symbolic to recognise the lives of those we’ve loved, and a way to keep their light alive.”

Lanterns are available for a donation of £3 each to support the pioneering end-of-life care that Butterwick Hospice offers in communities across the North-East.

The evening will begin at 7:30pm on Saturday, May 18, with the lanterns setting sail around sunset, at approximately 8:15pm.

Lanterns can be pre-ordered by visiting www.butterwick.org.uk/events/floatingthoughts, or by contacting the hospice on 01388 603 003, and you will be sent a label to write your message on. Lanterns will also be available at the event.

Ms Toner added: “It’s a very moving evening. As the lights float out into the lake, we stand together, and know that we’re not alone in missing someone we love.

“We hope that as many people as possible who have been touched and helped by the work of Butterwick Hospice will join us, and that together we can illuminate Hardwick Park with the light of hundreds of lives.”