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5 Dec 2017 Community

Hundreds attend Light up a Life celebrations at Kirkwood Hospice

Families gathered at Kirkwood Hospice in Dalton on Saturday and Sunday to take part in the charity’s annual Light up a Life events. 

Almost 1,000 people visited the gardens at Kirkwood Hospice last weekend to remember loved ones and dedicate a light in their memory.

On a bitterly cold weekend in West Yorkshire, people wrapped up warm to share special memories at Kirkwood’s Light up a Life celebrations.

During the two special events, held in the Hospice’s gardens, visitors dedicated a light on Kirkwood’s magnificent beech tree to someone special.

The tree of lights will shine bright throughout the festive period in tribute to the lives of loved ones who couldn’t be here at this special time of year.

The names of those being remembered have also been recorded in Kirkwood’s Book of Lights, which was on display during the events and will be available to view in the New Year.

In tribute to the Hospice, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2017, families listened to readings, poetry and music on the theme of time before the lighting of the tree.

People came from across Kirklees and beyond to share memories and celebrate special memories.

Among those who took part was Helen Lear, of Shepley, with her sister Sarah Jane. They came to remember their dad, Peter Kennedy, a huge lover of all things Christmas.

Helen said: “We are remembering our beautiful Dad who spent three weeks at Kirkwood and sadly lost his battle to Cancer on the 15th of November 2017.

“Dad loved Christmas and our family home was like Santa's Grotto. Our youngest children are now four years old and Dad would have loved showing them the magic of Christmas this year.

“We wanted to Light up a Life to show the children just how much their Grandad meant to us all. It will also be the start of us lighting up Dad’s house in Shepley. We are making sure every decoration goes up this year in his honour.”

Anthony Wilson, from Sheepridge, has taken part in Light up a Life for over a decade as a way to honour the special care given to his Mum and Stepdad at the end of their lives.

He said: “My beautiful Mum, Bridie Foster, and Stepdad, Kevin Foster, spent their last days in Kirkwood Hospice in 2004 and 2005.

“Me and my family will never forget the care and compassion the staff gave to them both and we have been attending Light up a Life since 2004.”

Lisa Pitts, from Cleckheaton, performed with Grange Moor Brass Band at Sunday’s event. She was also remembering someone special.

Lisa said: “This year is an extra special Light up a Life for me. My Mum, Rosemary Shirley, passed away peacefully at the Hospice in July after spending her final two months there.

“I’m not sure how many of the notes I’ll manage to play, but I will do my very best.”

For those unable to attend the weekend’s events, an indoor service will be held next Saturday, 9th December, at the Longcauseway Church in Dewsbury at 12 noon. This event is free and open to everyone. Please click here to find out more.

If you would like to make a dedication to a loved one, there’s still time to do so. Please click here or contact Kirkwood’s Fundraising Team on: 01484 557911. 

Kirkwood Hospice’s Light up a Life appeal is kindly supported by Wheawill & Sudworth.

The Hospice would also like to thank Grange Moor Brass Band, Huddersfield Air Cadets, Arif Ahmad, Sarah Hanson, Jo Dixon, Maughans Bakery, Suzie Walker, Mill Hill Health Centre and Kirkwood Hospice’s team of volunteers.

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