First published in Around Saddleworth
Dr Kershaw’s Hospice is holding a service to give the whole community an opportunity to join together virtually, to reflect and remember loved ones, at a time when we are all together yet still apart.
Dr Kershaw’s Hospice invites the whole community of Oldham to join together, virtually, to celebrate the memories of their loved ones during the festive period as they move their annual Light Up a Life service online on Sunday 6th December at 7 pm.
A first for the Hospice, this virtual service has been created in the light of the local and national restrictions imposed during the ongoing pandemic, to replace the annual service which is normally held at the Hospice.
“This year has been challenging for everyone in so many different ways, so we want to help join the community in virtual thoughts and prayers, whatever their faith and whatever their circumstances,” said Events Fundraiser, Grace Carr.
Grace added, “During this extra special service we will be celebrating our strong, diverse community and giving everyone a platform to simply stop, take some time out and remember all those special people who have touched their lives”.
The Hospice’s new Light Up a Life service will be streamed live to the whole community on Sunday 6th December via the Hospice’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. The service aims to bring all of the people of Oldham together to celebrate those special people who have helped light up their life and keeping their memories strong at the same time as positively supporting their local hospice.
As well as multi-faith and non-religious readings, the virtual service will include performances from Kershaw’s Crooner’s, – the Hospice’s own choir, and Saddleworth Musical Society, followed by the ceremonial lighting of the Hospice Remembrance Tree.
This special service will not just be online. Remembering those amongst us who don’t have access to the media channels we all take for granted, Dr Kershaw’s Hospice has teamed up with Oldham Community Radio 99.7FM to bring the service to the airwaves, giving everyone the opportunity to join in as the community reaches out to each other. Everyone will be encouraged to dedicate a shining light on the Hospice’s tree, in memory of a loved one, no matter their faith, culture, background or connection with the Hospice.
“The festive period is traditionally a time for giving and it’s thanks to the generosity of the community that our doors are able to stay open to offer end-of-life care to those most in need in our borough,” explained Grace.
“Each year the Light up a Life tree dedications raise much-needed funds for the Hospice and we are asking our community to continue to help through this special virtual service that we have created just for you,”
To make the service more personal, this year, those making a donation can also ask to receive a Light Up A Life At Home pack which includes their own tea-light that will shine in their own home during the virtual ceremony or on a day special to them, and a star for their own message of love, to hang on their tree at home.
The packs will also include instructions on how to join the service, along with an order of service so that you can follow the event from the comfort of your own home, and a greeting card with your dedication inside. To make a Light up a Life dedication in aid of Dr Kershaw’s Hospice couldn’t be easier, you can contact the team on 0161 624 9984 or via the Hospice website www.drkh.org.uk/support-us/light-life from the 14th September.
Dedications made before Monday 9thNovember will also be included in the Hospice’s ‘Book of Remembrance’ and names will be visible on-screen during the service. The Book of Remembrance will be available for collection from the Hospice’s four charity shops from the 23rd November 2020 until stocks last.
Kathryn Harding, Emotional and Bereavement Support Nurse said;
“The Light Up A Life event is a chance to come together in remembering our loved ones and supporting one another through the challenges of ill health, grief and bereavement. This seems particularly important this year when many of our usual avenues of comfort and strength have been disturbed and disrupted. Your participation helps us to continue to support our patients and their families to the very best of our ability and empowers us to work effectively for the community of Oldham.
It means a lot to us. Thank you.”