Light up a Life header image

For people finding the run-up to Christmas anything but festive because they’re missing someone special who has died, the Light up a Life remembrance services organised by a much-loved local charity could help bring comfort and light.

The annual Light up a Life services run by St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth are for anyone who has been bereaved, whether recently or years ago, and regardless of whether the hospice was involved in the care of the person who passed away. They are an opportunity for bereaved people to come together with others in similar circumstances to celebrate the life of their lost loved ones and reflect on memories they treasure.

Sponsored by Western Power Distribution, this year’s services are taking place at the Minster of St Andrew’s, Plymouth, on Tuesday 14 December, at 2pm, 5.30pm and 7.30pm. These non-religious events are free of charge to attend and there is no need to book.

Jutta Widlake, Head of Social Care at St Luke’s, said: “While Christmas is a special time, we know it can often be tinged with sadness when you’ve lost someone close. If this sounds like you, please remember you are not alone. We warmly invite everyone who wants to join us to our Light up a Life services – not only families of people who received our care before they died but anyone who has been bereaved.  We find that many people choose to attend every year because the services are so joyous and uplifting.”

“Even if you cannot attend in person, you don’t need to miss out. From the comfort of your own home, you can watch the recording on our website a few days after the event.”

As is annual tradition, hospice volunteers and keen runners will carry a lit torch all the way from St Luke’s specialist unit at Turnchapel to St Andrew’s to light the large candles inside. Due to safety measures St Luke’s is putting in place to help protect service attendees from COVID-19, members of the congregation will not be given candles to hold this year, nor will teas and coffees be provided after the services.

To help the charity continue its vital service looking after terminally ill people across the community and supporting the families around them, there will be an opportunity to give voluntary donations on the day, or online on St Luke’s website.

It is estimated that over the Christmas week, around 300 patients will be receiving specialist end of life care from St Luke’s. Donations from the community raised by these events support terminally ill people wherever they wish to be cared for – in their homes, at Derriford Hospital or at Turnchapel.