Display of lights in honour of lost loved ones

Kate and Bill Longstaff. Bill went along to the Day Hopsice at St Oswalds for seven years before he died in 2013.
Kate and Bill Longstaff. Bill went along to the Day Hopsice at St Oswalds for seven years before he died in 2013.

Northumberland residents are being offered a chance to remember someone special this Christmas.

They have the opportunity to take part in this year’s St Oswald’s Hospice’s Light up a Life initiative.

For a donation to the charity, supporters can dedicate a light in memory of a loved one on a special Christmas tree, which will be displayed next month.

Supporters will receive a Christmas card inscribed with their loved one’s name as well as a memory star, which they can personalise with their own message.

They will also be invited to a special Remembrance Service, where the Christmas tree lights are switched on and the memory stars can be added to a display around the tree.

Kate Longstaff, from Morpeth, is participating in the initiative again this year in honour of her husband Bill. He attended the St Oswald’s Day Hospice before he died in 2013.

In December 2014, her grandchildren Emily and Max Streener were invited to switch on the lights on the remembrance tree.

The 66-year-old said: “For seven years, Bill came to the day hospice and he loved his time there. He had so many friends, including staff, other patients and the volunteer drivers who would take him to and from the hospice.

“We liked that the hospice isn’t a place of doom and gloom and we felt the staff and volunteers supported us every step of the way.

“Light up a Life is such a lovely way to remember those who were close to you.

“It’s nice to honour Bill, but also other family members who have sadly died. I always display the remembrance card at home over the Christmas period.”

The service will take place on Tuesday, December 13, at the Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle. Doors open at 5pm and the service starts at 6pm – it will feature musical performances from Newcastle Concert Band and Voices of Hope.

For more information and to dedicate a light, call St Oswald’s fund-raising team on 0191 2469123 or email fundrais ing@stoswaldsuk.org