Northern Ireland Hospice launches annual Lights to Remember Appeal
NORTHERN Ireland Hospice has launched its annual Lights to Remember appeal. The local charity is hoping it will receive support from people who wish to remember their loved ones by sponsoring a light on the Hospice Christmas tree.
Now entering its 23rd year, the ‘Lights to Remember’ appeal aims to raise £200,000 to help Northern Ireland Hospice continue to provide the highest quality palliative care to local people when they need it most, and support for their loved ones.
Northern Ireland Hospice Lights to Remember Appeal provides an opportunity for families to come together and dedicate a light in memory of their loved ones during the festive period.
On Tuesday, December 19, following a short service at Dominican College, Fortwilliam, a torch-light procession will proceed to the new Hospice facility on Belfast’s Somerton Road, where the Christmas lights will officially be switched on.
Funds raised from this year’s appeal will ensure Northern Ireland Hospice provides care for more than 3,000 adults with life-limiting illnesses.
Whilst Hospice care is free to the patient, it is not free to provide and the charity relies heavily on support and donations from the public.
Northern Ireland Hospice Social Worker Dolores Sweeney works in the Adult Hospice and knows the difference that hospice care can make.
She said: “I have worked at the Hospice as a social worker for 14 years now; in fact, I started as a volunteer here two years before that. In that time, I have met families from all over Northern Ireland, from all walks of life. I have seen how the hospice care that we offer to all has enabled incredible, positive moments of togetherness and achievement, even in a patient’s very last days and hours.
“The Lights to Remember Appeal is a chance for everyone across Northern Ireland, on one special day each year, to come together with others who know how we’re feeling; to share the joy of their memory – and support each other as we mourn their loss.
“I’ve been to most of our Lights to Remember celebrations in my 16 years here and for me it’s always been an intensely moving but positive experience. The abiding memory I have is hearing all those footsteps as we walk together from the school to the Hospice. The sense of community and togetherness is so strong. One magical year it even started to snow, just as we switched the lights on – I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t been there myself”.
To sponsor a light on the Hospice Christmas tree, visit: www.nihospice.org or call 028 9077 7123