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5 Dec 2018 Community

Families attend Light up a Life to remember loved ones

As the Tree of Lights continues to shine brightly in the Hospice garden, we look back at some of the stories and memories shared from families that attended two annual Light up a Life events last weekend.

With the year drawing to a close, over 1,000 people joined us last weekend for two very special Light up a Life ceremonies to remember loved ones who can’t be with us at this time of year.

Here are some of their stories…

Yvonne, Alison, Sydney, Kevin and Jessica travelled from Shipley to remember daughter, sister and auntie, Samantha Jayne Clewer Midgely, who died on Boxing Day in 2016.

The family were attending Light up a Life for the second year, and viewed the service from Samantha’s memorial brick, which sits proudly at the heart of Kirkwood’s gardens.


Speaking of her daughter, Yvonne said: “After Samantha was diagnosed with cancer, she knew she wanted to come to Kirkwood Hospice. She spent her last week on Kirkwood’s In-Patient Unit, something which we were extremely grateful for.

“We can’t fault this place for how Samantha was dealt with. They made her last hours great and they couldn’t do enough for us as a family.

“Sam went to church in Lepton and always loved carols. During her week at Kirkwood, they were singing carols on Christmas Eve so we propped the door of her room open and I’m sure she could hear them.”

The Tempest Family, of Wyke and Cleckheaton, were attending Kirkwood’s Light up a Life event for the first time. The event was special chance for the family to remember son and nephew, David Tempest, who died five years ago.


Speaking of her son, David, Sophie said: “We attended Kirkwood’s Sunflower Memories Appeal back in July, which was a lovely way to remember David.

“The event was very well organised and a lovely service so we wanted to come to Light up a Life to mark David’s life.”

Lily Gration attended Light up a Life over the weekend to remember her Grandma and Grandad, Christine and John Sykes.

Lily said: “My grandad passed away at Kirkwood Hospice in 2002, they were a great support for our family leading up to his death and after. Unfortunately my grandma passed away last April. She attended every event Kirkwood held and did a lot of charity events for the Hospice.”


Emma Jane Siwczyk attended the ceremony to remember her mum, Muriel McNab, who died in August this year.

Emma said: “Our unique incredible mum, Muriel Mcnab, passed away in your remarkable care on 31st August 2018. We were truly blessed to have a mother like ours and truly blessed that she was able to pass on in a wonderful loving place full of inspiring devoted people. Thank you is simply not enough.”

Nat Schofield, of Quarmby, attended with family to remember her dad who passed away in March 2008.

Nat said: “We’ll be there for my Dad. The staff at Kirkwood were amazing and my Dad could not have been in better hands. The past couple of years my eldest son has come with us to Light up a Life.

“He was only four when my Dad died but he remembers the nurses at Kirkwood spoiling him when he visited. It really is care for the whole family.”


Light up a Life is an important time for the Materson family, as they attended to remember Barbara Masterson.

Jason Masterson said: “We will be there cherishing the memories we have of Barbara Masterson, our very much loved mother, grandmother and wife.”

For those unable to attend last weekend’s events, an indoor service will be held on Saturday, 8th December at the Longcauseway Church in Dewsbury at 12 noon. This event is free and open to anyone.

There is still time to make a dedication to someone you love, which will be displayed in Kirkwood’s Book of Lights in the New Year. To make a dedication, click here or call Kirkwood’s Fundraising Team on: 01484 557911

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