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Light up a Life appeal launched to support families facing loss this Christmas

04-11-2021
Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

Thames Hospice is calling on its community to support its ‘Light up a Life’ Christmas appeal to help provide urgent care for more families like James and his seven-year old daughter Jess, who are facing their first Christmas without Blanche, their beloved wife and mummy.

Light up a Life is an opportunity for local people to come together as they face grief and loss, to remember loved ones who are no longer with us, and to raise funds for the Hospice to help more patients and their families get the support they desperately need this Christmas and beyond.

Many families have experienced loss in this challenging year and have not been able to remember and celebrate the lives of loved ones lost in the way we would want to. Blanche, 43, was cared for at Thames Hospice last Christmas, before she sadly passed away in February this year.

Blanche’s husband of 16 years, James, said: “The Hospice really did do everything to make our last moments as a family so precious. Being at the Hospice during Christmas time was hard. We were so grateful that Thames Hospice allowed Blanche to go home for 48 hours over the Christmas period, even though she was really ill by then. To be allowed to have those precious memories of our last Christmas together, will be with Jess and I for the rest of our lives. I know that this first Christmas without her is going to be so difficult.”

Seven-year old Jess said: “Thames Hospice took really good care of Mummy. I remember baking a cake and celebrating Mummy’s birthday at the Hospice. I had a sleep over with Mummy at the Hospice on the sofa and we had lots of cuddles and read stories together. I am looking forward to lighting my candle at the Light up a Life service, and it will be very special because Mummy will be there with me.” Read James and Jess' story here.

Catherine Beer, Pastoral Care Worker at Thames Hospice, supported James whilst Blanche was at the Hospice, helping the whole family prepare for Blanche’s death so that they could look back and focus on the good memories and time spent together. Catherine said: “Our staff make every special moment possible at the end of life. Every opportunity to create a precious memory matters. And it is needed more than ever now. Patients have come to us suddenly and unexpectedly after a late diagnosis, being there for them and their families emotionally, feels so important, when so much other support has fallen away.

“Please help us create special memories for more patients and families like Blanche, Jess and James.”

Thames Hospice is inviting their local community to join them at their annual Light up a Life remembrance service, a special event to pause at a busy time of year and remember loved ones who are no longer with us. This year will be the first service hosted at the new Hospice by Bray Lake. Supporters can choose from two services at 4pm or 6.30pm on Sunday 12 December 2021. The service will include readings and Christmas carols, alongside the opportunity to light a candle in remembrance of a loved one.

Please click the button below to make a donation to the appeal, attend the event or write a message for a loved one on our virtual memory tree.

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