ARTHUR Rank Hospice is inviting members of the local community to join them for their special Light Up a Life service at the start of December. The poignant evening sees hundreds of lights on a beautiful Christmas Tree outside the Hospice, lit up – as hospice staff, volunteers, supporters, friends and family come together – to remember loved ones.
The evening, which takes place on Sunday 2 December from 5 pm, will see guests welcomed, with music courtesy of Ely City Military Band and Sing! Choirs (Ely, Newmarket and Cambridge). A service including readings, poems, songs and carols will then be led by the Hospice’s Chaplain Keith Morrison and the Bishop of Ely, Right Revd Stephen Conway.
A moment of silence and reflection will follow, providing an opportunity for everyone to hold their loved ones in their memories and hearts, before the lights adorning the Christmas tree are switched on. As those who have experienced the Hospice will know, its care embraces everyone and welcomes people of all faiths and no faith and the evening is open to anyone who wishes to remember someone they hold dear, regardless of whether they were cared for by Arthur Rank Hospice.
Ed Spalding, a well-loved member of staff, who works across Arthur Rank Hospice’s Inpatient Unit and Day Therapy service, shares why the evening is so special:
“Light up a Life is one of the most important events in our Hospice calendar. I have been nursing here for over 30 years and, in that time, I’ve come to understand how essential it is for us to have this annual gathering; to join together with others from the local community to share our love for those no longer with us.
“I have cared for many patients on our wards. I fondly remember one special lady who loved to be pampered. Having access to the jacuzzi bath meant she could enjoy a moment of calm in the bubbles. She would share stories of her life, and we would laugh together reflecting on moments that brought her happiness. It has been such a privilege to get to know and support my patients and their families during such a crucial time.”
The Hospice is now inviting dedications for the Light up a Life Commemorative Booklet which will be handed out at the service. As well as being able to include a loved ones’ name in the booklet, supporters are invited to write a dedication, wish or message on the back of a star. These can then be returned to the Hospice, where they will be hung together in streams and cascaded over the Bistro in the heart of the Hospice. Both the stars and the Christmas tree lights can be viewed by visitors from the 2 December throughout the festive period until twelfth night, 5 January 2018.
To attend on the evening, or make a dedication, please register at http://www.arhc.org.uk/lightupalife before Wednesday 21 November or call 01223 675888. Dedications can be made after this date and will be added to an addendum. Here is a video from last year.
Arthur Rank Hospice would like to extend its thanks to this year’s sponsors of Light Up a Life Peasgood & Skeates and the East of England Cooperative Funeral Directors who have kindly sponsored the 25 foot Christmas tree. Donations from the personal dedications will help the Hospice in raising the £8.1 million which needs to be secured every year, to help provide essential care for people living in Cambridgeshire with a life-limiting illness. Thanks to the invaluable support of the local community, over 3600 patients are cared for each year free of charge at the Hospice’s home in Shelford Bottom, the day treatment centre in Wisbech and in people’s own homes across Cambridgeshire via the Arthur Rank Community team.