Record turn-out for Wirral Hospice Light Up A Life switch-on

Wirral Globe: Last night's switch-on. Picture: Paul Heaps Last night's switch-on. Picture: Paul Heaps

AN estimated three thousand people attended the Light Up A Life switch-on for Wirral Hospice St John's on Sunday.

Upton brothers Tomas and Louie Stiles turned the 6,000 lights on during a ceremony at the Clatterbridge hospice.

The Globe-backed appeal, now in its 19th year, raises much-needed funds for the organisation, currently celebrating its 30th anniversary.

This year's campaign has so far raised more than £80,000 and the money is still being counted.

The Globe has been a long-time supporter, helping inspire our readers to sponsor a light in memory of a loved one.

Hospice fundraising manager Hayley Gough said: "It was a great night and we had a record turnout. There were more people attending than we have had in previous years.

"At the moment we've passed the £80,000 mark in terms of funds raised this year. A lot of money was raised on the night. It would be our dream to pass the £100,000 mark.

"The support from the local community continues to be strong. We couldn't have done this without the incredible support, once again, from the Globe.”
 

Tomas, aged six and Louie Stiles, 11, switched on the lights in memory of dad Rich, who died at the hospice in September last year months after being diagnosed with Pseudomyotonia Peritonis, a tumour affecting the stomach.

Also attending the ceremony was Jenny Sinclair, daughter of former Bishop of Liverpool, Lord David and Lady Grace Sheppard who both died from cancer and received care at the hospice.

In a speech read out during the Light Up A Life ceremony on Sunday, Jenny said the family will always be grateful for the Hospice, adding that it was a great honour to be asked to speak at the event.

Mrs Sinclair, who travelled from her London home for the event, said: "St John's is a place of great humanity and warmth.

"At a time when a family is feeling most vulnerable and in unfamiliar and in worrying territory, the wonderful Hospice staff give you the intimacy of an extended family underpinned by serious professionalism and expertise.

"This gives you confidence, you can be yourself and this makes transforms a potentially traumatic experience into a time of warm humanity.

"Both my father and my mother both had their palliative care with the Hospice."

More than two thousand people watched last year's switch-on, which raised £90,000 for hospice running costs.

The lights are sponsored in the names of lost loved ones and will remain lit until twelfth night in January.

There will also be a special carol service at St James Church in New Brighton on Wednesday, December 4.

This year, the names of all those remembered will feature in a special keepsake order of service that will be available tonight.

The names of those honoured will feature in special books that will be on view from 5-7pm daily until Friday, December 6.

The fundraising for this year's appeal is not over. Lights can still be sponsored and you can also buy special pinbadges from the hospice.

Further details are from www.wirralhospice.org

To see Globe photographer Paul Heaps' gallery of pictures from last night's event, click on the link on the related links below.

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