‘Christmas Lights’. Friendly rivalry in Templemore Road inspires our Wirral Christmas Lights Trail

#Christmas #fun #fundraising #hospicecare #community

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, so the lyrics of the famous yuletide song go and, in this year of all years, we can all do with some seasonal cheer.

Ian, up the ladder, with son, Jordan, fitting their Christmas lights

So, we were delighted at Wirral Hospice St John’s when neighbours at Templemore Road in Oxton decided to add support to our Wirral Christmas Lights Trail, while showcasing the extra special effort they’ve been putting into decorating the outside of their homes for a number of years now.

We spoke to Ian and Nina from Templemore about the road’s annual lights fest and their, in effect, open-air Grottoes which have been attracting sightseers from all over Wirral this year.

“As a family, Christmas has always been a pretty big deal for us and we’ve always gone a bit OTT with the Christmas lights.

Our friends of over 30 years, Dave and Alison, who live a couple of doors away, and our, now grown up, children really look forward to the Christmas ‘lights-off’. (Well, ‘lights-on’ actually!) 

Ian and Dave are especially competitive so it has become a bit of a thing about who can outshine the other. They’re like big kids at this time of year but we know it’s just a bit of fun at the end of the day. Over the years many other neighbours have also shown their support and are becoming more and more involved.

As Ian is an engineer by trade, he thoroughly enjoys designing and making his own creations. Dave, in turn, acquires every Christmas inflatable he can find, including massive Santa’s, polar bears, penguins, reindeer, bells, Christmas trees,  snow scenes and thousands of twinkling lights!

Another ‘Big Kid’ checks out the Christmas lights

Stuck between the competing families are neighbours, Will and family, who have been caught in the crossfire and now just think, ‘if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em’.

So now, and for the past seven years since we moved into Templemore, the number of neighbours joining in has steadily grown.

During this year’s lockdowns, the road formed a supportive and friendly WhatsApp group and the ‘chat’ since summertime was about going all out for Christmas to bring a bit of cheer to the whole neighbourhood after this challenging year.

Then, in November we spotted that Wirral Hospice St Johns were promoting a Wirral Christmas Lights Trail and the whole group agreed that many people in the area have personally experienced the care and support of our hospice and that it was the ideal charity for us all to get behind. 

Now, with the story having been picked up by the Wirral Globe and with social media support from the hospice, and many others, we have hordes of families, every single evening walking up and down the road.

Cars form queues at busy times. But everyone keeps a social-distance and it is wonderful for us to see so many happy, smiling faces. (Although sincere apologies to those having to pack their toddlers back into the car, crying because they want to stay longer!)

It has really lifted the spirits. The roads adjoining ours are also getting in on the act and we know many more around Wirral are too, which is so heartwarming to see. With people also making their kind donations to Wirral Hospice St Johns it makes it all the more worthwhile.”

Lovely sentiments from Nina and Ian, all their friends and neighbours, and now, of course, all the other people who are joining in these festive celebrations.

At the hospice we are truly grateful to everyone in our whole Wirral ‘family’ as we say to them, sincerely,

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good ‘light’!

NB: In a year when many events have been cancelled it’s heartening to know our Wirral community are finding many innovative ways to help their local hospice.

With the impetus from our friends at Templemore Road the Wirral Christmas Lights Trail has really taken off with over 50 different households all around Wirral now taking part in the festive celebration.

You can find out more about the trail here www.wirralhospice.org/lightstrail And, if you can, please make your kind donations to the campaign here www.justgiving.com/fundraising/wirralchristmaslights

#Christmastree #recycling in support of your local Hospice #charity #newyear #volunteers

As Christmas is now over we thought we would send a reminder about this year’s Christmas tree recycling scheme. If you haven’t already booked your real tree in for collection there is still time for you to do so.

In return for a suggested £5 or £7 donation, depending on the size of your tree, we will come to your house and take your old, wilting tree away! Please visit our website and follow the links to book in your collection.

Bookings will close at midnight on Wednesday 4th January 2017.

We will then be collecting trees from 9.30am to 4pm daily on Saturday 7th January through to Thursday 12th January.

Volunteer support would also be very welcome, almost 1,000 trees have been signed up at the time of sending this email! If you have a transit or big box van and could help on Saturday 7th and/or Sunday 8th January (or any of the dates leading up to 12th January), please do not hesitate to get in touch with our Fundraising Office on 0151 343 0778. Hard hats, high vis jackets, a packed lunch will be provided along with a hearty slap on the back!

Equally, if you’d have a wood chipping machine and would benefit from having chippings from several hundred trees, please also get in touch. The more drop-off points we have the better to keep our mileage costs as low as possible.

Many thanks for your valued support!
The Fundraising Team xx

#Chocolate #Cake & #Craft Wirral Hospice Hobby Fair

wirral_hospice_hobby_craft_22

Volunteer Sandra Fairclough at our delicious craft fair chocolate tombola 2012

It’s that time of year again; the leaves are falling (horizontally), it’s getting colder and our volunteers are feverishly putting the final finishes on their wonderful creations for this year’s Hobby & Craft Fair– the perfect event for a blustery October Saturday with its cosy crafty atmosphere, abundance of cakes and, of course, our winner chocolate tombola.

This year we have forty five stalls with sellers from all across Wirral, filled with beautiful handmade goods including; handbags, jewellery, wooden crafts, Christmas gifts, cards, jams, cakes, toys, art and much, much more.  Look out for Ruth & Olwen’s stall, covered with handmade Christmas gifts and decorations, including those notorious reindeer! Another of our fundraising volunteers, Sandra Fairclough (pictured), will be selling her famous cards at the fair; she gets orders for these from far and wide and makes each card with love by hand – they are bound to be a treat.

As usual we will have our own Wirral Hospice St John’s craft stall filled with beautiful handmade donations from our supporters from all across Wirral.  Our stall will be showcasing Christmas gifts and decorations; handmade woollen blankets; baby clothes; hats scarves & gloves; and toys to name but a few with all funds raised going towards the wonderful work the hospice does. Along with the Hospice Craft Stall we will be selling our new goods, gifts and cards straight from the Hospice Gift Shop.

Our extremely popular chocolate tombola will be back, along with refreshments including tea, cakes & bacon butties.  This year, for the first time, there will also be the facility to make your Light up a Life donation at the event and find out our other upcoming events from our information table.

Craft fair co-ordinator, Kerry Threadgill, says “I can’t wait; it’s one of the highlights of the year, with some of our volunteers holding their own stalls for the first time, its going to be lovely to see what they come up with”

The fair will be held at Heswall Hall, Saturday 25th October 10am – 4pm with entry at just £1.00.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Author: Jacinta Warwick

3000 support Light Up a Life service

6000 lights lit up the hearts of Wirral Hospice supporters as they honoured the memory of their loved ones at this year’s helen jones 002 - CopyLight up a Life event.

Over 3000 supporters attended the switch on and special remembrance service held in the Hospital grounds.
Radio Merseyside’s Helen Jones was the compere for the evening and was very well received by the audience ensuring that everything ran smoothly and to time.

The lights were switched on by Upton brothers Tomas & Louie Stiles in memory of their dad, Rich Stiles followed by singing from choir ‘Off Pitch’ and a beautiful solo from singer Caroline England. It was a very special moment when the audience was addressed by Jenny Sinclair, daughter of Lady Grace Sheppard and The Rt Reverend Lord David Sheppard, who spoke about her experience of the work of Wirral Hospice. The service concluded with a blessing from The Bishop of Birkenhead, Rt Reverend Keith Sinclair.

Wirral Hospice would like to thank Wirral Globe for their continued support of this special event over many years and all in the local community for their generous donations, which are now standing at over £88,000. Hayley Gough, Events Manager said “This is a very special event for the Hospice and the Wirral community and we give our grateful thanks to everyone who has been involved in and supported Light up a Life in our 30th Anniversary Year”.

[Image – Left to right: Jenny Sinclair, Radio Merseyside’s Helen Jones, Louie Stiles, Tomas Stiles]

12 Days of Fundraising this #Christmas

11_wirral_hospice_light_up_a_lifeAs part of this year’s festive activities, Wirral Hospice St John’s has been hosting a spectacular Twelve Days of Christmas. It’s been a truly amazing year; with the Queen’s Jubilee and the Olympics and we wanted to help round it off by celebrating with our Wirral community.

What’s also unique about this year, is that it’s the last time this century that we will have the day, the month and the year being the same number – 12/12/12 – which is why we planned a very special Twelve Days of Christmas for the first 12 days of December.

On Sat 1 Dec we had a stall at Port Sunlight’s Christmas Food and Drink Festival.

On Sun 2 Dec we lit our Light Up A Life lights for the 17th year. See the photo gallery.

On Mon 3 Dec the Country Mouse in Brimstage put on a special French menu.

On Tue 4 Dec the lovely group Signature sang in our Hub cafe.

On Wed 5 Dec Lauries the jewellers in Heswall held an exclusive open evening for us. We also collected broken gold jewellery!

On Thu 6 Dec we hosted a carol concert in Christ Church Port Sunlight. The roof was lifted by the amazing talents of Wirral Symphony Orchestra and BarLine, a young a capella group from Birkenhead School.

On Fri 7 Dec Wirral Metro Swimming Club were going to hold a sponsored swim on our behalf but they unfortunately had to postpone this until the New Year.

On Sat 8 Dec the Lord Raglan pub in Birkenhead hosted a charity night in aid of our Hospice.

On Sun 9 Dec the fantastic Chay’s Stompers line danced their way around our Hub cafe, after each member of the group had line danced a sponsored mile!

On Mon 10 Dec some famous Lords did a bit of leaping in our Hospice grounds!

On Tue 11 Dec Music in Hospitals did a special performance for our patients and their visitors.

On Wed 12 Dec, 12/12/12, we hosted our grand finale of an exclusive gala dinner at the Lady Lever Art Gallery in Port Sunlight.

Thank you so much to everyone who has supported one or more of our Twelve Days of Christmas, we couldn’t have done it without you! We wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and we look forward to sharing with you our plans for 2013 (another very special year, as it will be our 30th Anniversary) next year.

Festive wishes from everyone at Wirral Hospice St John’s!

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