THERE are just over two weeks to go until this year's Globe-backed Light Up A Life switch-on at Wirral Hospice St John's.

Ten thousand bulbs will be turned on during the event, now in its 20th year, which will take place in the hospice gardens on Sunday, December 3, from 4.30pm.

Switching them on will be eight-year-old Sam Bryson in memory of his dad Roger, who died from bowel cancer at the hospice in 2015 aged 48. 

Roger, a former reporter for the BBC in Liverpool and one-time news editor of The Liverpool Daily Post, was hospitalised in May 2013 with essential thrombocythemia – a blood disorder that caused a series of blood clots, resulting in complications and emergency bowel surgery.

He returned to work nearly 18 months later, but developed further problems and was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer in April 2015.

He moved to Wirral Hospice St John's days later.

Wirral Globe:

Julia Bryson with daughter Florence and son Sam, who will switch on the lights at this year's Light Up A Life ceremony

Sam was six and sister Florence was just two when dad passed away.

They had spent a lot of time visiting him at the hospice and were always made to feel welcome and cared for; their father was an in-patient for almost three months.

Periods of stability meant he was able to live at the family home in Hoylake for a few weeks at a time.

The family have since moved from Wirral to widow Julia's hometown in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, but visit Hoylake often.

Roger's mum celebrated her 91st birthday this year and lives in Moreton with his sister Jehane. His brother Pete and sister-in-law Glenys live in Irby.

His widow Julia is also news journalist, working at the BBC in Leeds. In her spare time she writes about how the family has moved forward through grief in a blog called

She says writing about her husband's cancer diagnosis, his move to the hospice and eventually his death helped her to get through the experience and connect with others in a similar position.

It has also served to give people an insight into life at a hospice and how the hospice can benefit not only the patient but also the whole family.

Wirral Globe:

Julia Bryson with daughter Florence and son Sam, who will switch on the lights at this year's Light Up A Life ceremony

On being asked to perform this year’s Light Up A Life switch-on, son Sam said: "I feel really proud to have been asked to switch on the lights and can’t wait to see them shining in the trees.

"Last year we won the raffle and took home a huge teddy bear called Frosty, it was really fun!"

Following the ceremony the lights will shine throughout the Christmas period until January 12.

The carol service is free and all are welcome to come along to remember their loved ones.

For each light that is sponsored the name of the person remembered will be included in the books of honour.

The books will be on display in the hospice chapel throughout the Christmas period.

Julia Evans, fundraising manager for Wirral Hospice St John's said:

The last date to ensure loved ones names are included in the Books of Honour is Wednesday November 29. 

A Light up a Life Church Service will take place at St James Church, New Brighton on Tuesday December 5 at 7pm.

This event is free to attend all are welcome. 

Julia Evans, fundraising manager for Wirral Hospice St John's told the Globe: "The campaign has so far raised over £50,000 towards patient care but we would like to try and double that with the tremendous support that we receive from our local community.  

"Hospice care is free for our patients, however is costs £3.9 million to run the Hospice.   

"We are excited that the maintenance team and cherry picker arrives on Friday, November 17 to test all of the lights in our trees ready for the big switch on carol service. 

"We are trying to encourage local Businesses to sponsor a Business Light for £50. They will be acknowledged in our programme."

Julia added: "I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported Light up a life over the past 20 years.

"Our lights can be sponsored in memory of your loved one whether you have a connection to the hospice or not.

"If anyone is planning to make a Christmas donation this year please consider the hospice as a charity to give to.

"We are here caring for Wirral patients every day of the year.

"The hospice costs £3.6 million to run, we need to raise more than half of that from voluntary sources and our local community."

For each light sponsored you will receive a Light up a life card featuring the name of your loved one. 

This year, a keepsake Light Up A Life star tree decoration is available for a minimum donation of £3.

To sponsor a light/order a star call 0151 343 0778 or visit