Light Up a Life 2019. Tracie’s family to switch on Wirral Hospice St John’s lights for Light up a Life in memory of husband, dad and grandad, Allan #lightupalife #patientcare #wirralhospice #thankyou

Light up a Life has been raising much needed funds for Wirral Hospice St John’s ever since the first service in 1996. It’s a really special time of year which brings together our Wirral community to remember their loved ones. This year the hospice gardens will be lit with 10,000 beautiful lights on Sunday 8th December.

Allan with FamilyThe lights will be switched on by Tracie Powell in memory of her husband Allan. Tracie will switch the lights on with her daughter, Kerry, and grandchildren, Morgan, 17, and Jeyda, 10. (Pictured is Tracie, Allan, daughter Kerry,  Morgan, Kerry’s husband, Tom and young Jeyda at a family wedding).

Allan had been feeling ill for a while before he was taken to hospital in February 2017 after collapsing with what turned out to be a perforated bowel. A little time later the family were given the shattering news that Allan had bowel cancer and it had progressed to stage 4. He was determined to be around for as long as possible and underwent chemotherapy over several months to make the most of his time with the family.

They all describe Allan as a fighter and, often when seriously ill, he would rally and be back to feeling as well as could be, enjoying quality time watching movies with Morgan and playing games with Jeyda.

Allan’s first referral to Wirral Hospice St John’s was in April 2018 and he was admitted for three weeks. Once he was made more comfortable he was able to return home to be with Tracie and the family. He also attended the hospice Wellbeing Centre for a few sessions which gave Tracie a much needed break while Allan was able to spend time with other patients enjoying the camaraderie and activities. Allan was an avid reader and was also able to spend quiet moments reading whilst at the hospice.

In July 2018 Allan was admitted onto our Inpatient Unit again. He received the specialist care and support which would give Tracie, Kerry and the grandchildren some peace of mind and precious time together. They enjoyed picnics in the sunshine in the hospice garden and talked about family holidays. Their Yorkshire terrier, Alfie, visited the Hospice too and enjoyed a cuddle from Allan.  Sadly, Allan died on 29th July, 2018 and is dearly missed by his loving family.Allan with Alfie

Tracie has received bereavement support from the hospice and has made new friends through the bereavement group. She has also joined the hospice as a volunteer.

On being approached to switch on the lights Tracie was delighted to accept, she said;

“The hospice was magnificent with, and for, Allan. The help I have personally received since has been wonderful. We all feel honoured to be able to switch on the lights, as we know it means so much for many families living in, and with family ties to, Wirral. Allan, the family and I had supported Light up a Life previously, remembering other loved ones and now we can play a part, in memory of Allan, to help people with their own special memories.”

Allan with Kerry, Jeyda and Morgan

The carol service, which is free to attend will be held in the hospice gardens on Sunday 8th December at 5.30pm. People start to gather from around 4pm to remember their loved ones.  For each light that is sponsored a loved one’s name is included in the hospice books of honour and people receive a Light up a Life card in their memory.  

The books are on display in the hospice from 4pm on 8th December and will remain on display throughout the Christmas period.

For a suggested minimum donation of £5 per light you can sponsor a Light in memory of a loved one. Light up a Life keepsake tree decorations are also available for a donation from £5.00 (including postage).  To donate to the campaign please call 0151 343 0778 or visit www.wirralhospice.org/light-up-a-life to make a donation online.

We also invite businesses to sponsor a light from £50.00. All businesses are included in the event programme and in the books of honour.

Julia Evans, Fundraising Manager said, “We’re so grateful to Tracie, Kerry, Morgan and Jeyda for agreeing to share their story and for switching on our hospice lights. Each light represents someone special who is loved and remembered whether people have a connection to the hospice or not. I would like to thank everyone who has supported Light up a Life over the past 23 years. Your support has helped us to care for our patients and their loved ones.”

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Sam will turn on 10,000 #LightupaLife lights in memory of his dad

DSC_0024-2This December ten thousand beautiful lights will be switched on in memory of loved ones at Wirral Hospice St John’s.  This special event is an opportunity for our local community to come together to sponsor a light and remember their loved ones.

This year the lights will be switched on by eight-year-old Sam Bryson whose dad died at Wirral Hospice St John’s in 2015.  Sam was six and his sister Florence was just two when their dad Roger died from bowel cancer aged 48.

The children spent a lot of time visiting their dad 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.  Roger was a news journalist who worked for the BBC in Liverpool, and was a former news editor of The Liverpool Daily Post.

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Roger & Julia Bryson and their children Sam & Florence

Roger 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.

Julia Bryson writes a blog called Rainbeaubelle and documents their journey online. 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.

A news journalist like her husband, Julia works at the BBC in Leeds and in her spare time writes about how the family has moved forward through grief.

The family have since moved from Wirral to Julia’s hometown in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, but visit Hoylake often.  Roger’s family – his mum was 91 this year and lives in Moreton with his sister Jehane, and his brother Pete and sister-in-law Glenys live in Irby.

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!”

Lual Star xmassy on dark backgroundThe switch-on will take place in the Hospice gardens on Sunday 3rd December from 4.30pm.  The names of those remembered will feature in the books of honour on display in the hospice chapel.  Each name sponsored will receive a Light up a Life card and there is an opportunity to buy a Light up a Life star as a keepsake tree decoration.

Last year’s campaign helped to raise almost £90,000 towards running costs and patient care. To sponsor a light call 0151 343 0778 or visit www.wirralhospice.org

Author: Julia Evans

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]

Our annual #lightupalife is on Sun 2 Dec, 5.30pm

This special event of Wirral Hospice St John’s is in its 17th year. Our annual switching on of the lights in the Hospice grounds is looked forward to by so many people across the Wirral. Our lights provide comfort and peace to those who have lost loved ones, and especially at what can be a very emotional time of year. Our Light Up A Life service also brings hope for the future and to help celebrate the lives of those who are thankfully still with us.

The lights will be switched at 5.30pm – we advise people to arrive in plenty of time to help ease traffic congestion. Car parking is free on the day and we will have stalls selling mulled wine and Hospice goods for people to browse whilst they wait for the service to begin.

If you would like to sponsor a light in memory or in honour of someone, you can call 0151 343 0778 or visit http://www.justgiving.com/Lesley-Woodhead1.

Our Books of Honour will be on display in the Hub (the Hospice’s cafe) from 4pm on Sun 2 Dec and then from 5-7pm on Mon 3, Tue 4, Wed 5, Thu 6 and Fri 7 Dec.

Thank you in advance for supporting Wirral Hospice St John’s Light Up A Life appeal. Wishing you all peace and comfort.

Light Up A Life… a new star is born! #LUAL #lightupalight

We have two pins on sale this year to raise much-needed funds for patient care at Wirral Hospice St John’s.

The Silver Star pin is £1 and available at many outlets all across the Wirral.

We also have a NEW Light Up A Life pin, which is on sale for £2 at the Hospice, our charity shops and at our events.

If you would like to receive the Light Up A Life pin through the post, please send a cheque made out to ‘Wirral Hospice St John’s’ to:

Wirral Hospice St John’s, Light Up A Life pin, Mount Road, Higher Bebington, Wirral CH63 6JE

Wearing one of our pins is a lovely way to show your support of our work, especially in the lead-up to Christmas, which is a very emotional time but particularly for those who have lost loved ones or have family members receiving care at the Hospice.

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