As the festive season draws closer, hundreds of people from across Greater Manchester are preparing to make a very special Christmas dedication.
Thousands of people have taken part in the Light up a Life appeal for St Ann’s Hospice over the last twenty five years, by dedicating a light in honour of their loved one, whilst making a donation to the charity.
This year, the Manchester charity is also inviting people to reflect on the year and light a light for the other losses they have felt this year, like time lost with family and friends or occasions that couldn’t be celebrated in lockdown.
Organisers are expecting hundreds more to join their appeal again this year, either with a special tree light, or creating an online dedication in the charity’s winter forest which can include a photo and message to a loved one.
David Waterman, Medical Director at St Ann’s, explained: “As this year comes to a close, it’s important for us to take a moment to reflect and remember all the things that are close to our hearts from this year.
“Since the beginning of this year, there have been many changes in how we have needed to deliver our services at the hospice. I recognise the impact this has had for our patients and their families, as well as on our staff.
“Although we have faced challenges, we have been able to provide patients and families with care within our wards, as well as remote support, via telephone or video, when they have not been able to join us face to face. This connection with the hospice has felt more important than ever, including for those who have faced loss and bereavement during this time.
“We’re enormously grateful to everyone who makes a dedication, whatever their reason, as every light and donation helps us to continue to provide care for the patients and families who need us now. I’m looking forward to seeing each and every light shining on our trees, and the touching dedications in our online winter forest.”
As well as dedicating a light, supporters are also invited to join the hospice’s special Light up a Life service online. It’s the first year the service will be shared virtually, for everyone to join in and light up a light wherever they are.
The charity, which operates from three sites in Little Hulton, Heald Green and The Neil Cliffe Centre in Wythenshawe Hospital cares for thousands of patients every year with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses – managing their symptoms, providing support, caring for people at the hospice or at home, and providing end of life care.
For more information on St Ann’s, or if you would like to dedicate a light to someone special, please call St Ann’s Hospice on 0161 498 3631 or visit www.sah.org.uk/light.