MORE than five hundred people gathered to celebrate the lives of loved ones during a special community remembrance event in the grounds of Saint Michael’s Hospice.
The Light up a Life event which allows people to dedicate a light on the special Christmas Tree to a loved ones memory, culminated in the big switch on.
Thousands of lights on the charity’s Christmas tree were illuminated, each dedicated to the memory of family members and friends of those in attendance.
The special lights will remain lit in the grounds of Saint Michael’s Hospice throughout the festive season.
Tony Collins, chief executive of the Hornbeam Park-based charity, said: “Light up a Life is always a popular and very poignant event for the community.
“We were delighted that so many of our friends and supporters were able to share this very personal act of remembrance with us.
“Light up a Life creates an atmosphere that is difficult to put into words and I hope the event brought comfort to those who are dealing with loss at this time of year.”
The service featured seasonal music and readings from members of the Saint Michael’s community.
During the event, the lights were switched on by a family who had been helped by Just B, Saint Michael’s bereavement support service.
Children and young people hung personalised memory stars on the tree.
Mr Collins added: “Thank you to Tewit Youth Intermediate Band, St. Aidan’s School Chamber Choir, Harrogate Printing Ltd, AV Matrix, the Rotary Club of Harrogate, the Dusty Miller for donating mince pies and all the volunteers who helped ensure the service ran smoothly.”
A second Light up a Life event will be held this Sunday, December 16, at Ripon Cathedral from 3pm.
Donations from the campaign will help Saint Michael’s Hospice continue to provide specialist care and support to more than 2,400 local people living with terminal illness and bereavement each year.
Another campaign running during December involves the local business community.
Sparkle for Saint Michael’s throughout December has seen more than 20 local businesses from across the district signing up.
The month-long fundraising drive encourages people to take part in fun, creative activities in the workplace to raise vital funds
Activities such as dress up and dress down days, Christmas raffles and festive quizzes are already planned.
Participating businesses that spread the word about their Sparkle activities on Twitter are being also being given the chance to win an office Christmas party in a hamper in a prize draw organised by the charity.
Terms and conditions can be found on the website listed below.
Companies wanting to take part in the Sparkle campaign should contact the hospice.
Dedications are still open for Light up a Life. The hospice makes makes no charge for your dedication, but a donation towards its vital work would be appreciated.
To dedicate a light contact Saint Michael’s Hospice on 01423879 687 during weekdays between 9am and 5pm.
To find out more about its work and the services offered by Saint Michael’s log onto the website www.saintmichaelshospice.org