MORE than two thousand people attended the 20th Light Up A Life switch-on for Wirral Hospice St John's.

Ten thousand bulbs were switched on in memory of loved ones during the emotional Globe-backed ceremony in the hospice gardens on Sunday night.

Pushing the button was eight-year-old Sam Bryson in memory of his dad Roger, who died from bowel cancer at the hospice in 2015 aged 48.

His proud mum Julia told the Globe: "It's been really emotional, but I'm really proud of Sam.

"He did so well getting up onto the stage.

"Myself and Florence were both invited onto the stage as well, but Sam was adamant he was going to go on his own."

She laughed: "It nearly caused tears, because Flo had wanted to get on, but Sam was like ‘no, it’s just for me, it's my special day'.

"He loved it, I’m really proud of him. He did really well."

There was also a performance of carols by the Hospice choir, conducted by Matt Lammin. Accompanying them were the Lyceum Brass Band and Wirral Schools' Brass Band.

Singer Sarah Chidlow gave a solo performance of In The Arms Of The Angels.

Sam was six and sister Florence was just two when dad Roger 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

It charts 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.

Paying tribute to Roger, Julia continued: "We still miss him so much and it’s difficult to being there without him, particularly at that this time of year.

"Events like this make you think about people that you miss.

"He was just a wonderful man really, can’t be matched. It only seems like yesterday that we were here with him at the hospice.

"He died in July 2015, but it doesn’t seem like any time at all, really.

"He was such a brilliant dad; Sam and Flo still talk about him all the time.

"They're both so proud of him. I hope he was looking down tonight, because he would be really proud of Sam."

Following the ceremony the lights will now shine throughout Christmas 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 of honour will be on display in the hospice chapel throughout the Christmas period.

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

This event is free to attend all are welcome.

Julia Evans, fundraising manager for the hospice said: "We're just overwhelmed with the public’s support this year. We’ve raised lots of money for the hospice, but we couldn’t do it without their support.

"I'd also like to thank the Globe for its invaluable support too."

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