Today is the third and final part of our feature looking at Nightingale House Hospice's Light Up A Life event.

Each year hundreds of people dedicate a light to loved ones on Nightingale House’s Christmas tree to help raise funds towards providing expert care and support to local people in our community.

This is a special event when the hospice tree is lit for the first time during the Advent Season and those glimmers of light offer remembrance and tribute to those who have played such a special part in our lives. Light Up A Life gives us an opportunity to remember and celebrate the lives of loved ones in a positive way.

Nightingale House Hospice’s Annual Light Up A Life Service will take on a new look this year, when it goes digital on Sunday, December 6, at 4pm, enabling people to join together virtually to celebrate the lives of loved ones. If you would like to be part of this special Service and remember a loved one, the service will be broadcast live on the hospice website.

There is still time if you would like to be part of this special event. Dedications can be made online by visiting or by telephoning 01978 314292. There is no minimum donation, all we ask is that you are as generous as possible, so you can keep helping “make every moment count” for patients and families.

Nightingale House would like to thank Williams Financial Planning Ltd for their generous support and sponsorship of this event.

We would like to share more stories of why families take part in our Light Up A Life event each year, and pay tribute to the some of those remembered on our Hospice Christmas tree...

The Leader:

Above: Matthew and Ben Valentine with dad Phillip and mum Pam.

• Nightingale House has played a huge role in my life and my family’s life. My mum used to be chair of the Board of Trustees and my aunt currently works as a fundraiser there, so I have long known about the huge amount of effort that goes on behind the scenes, including organising events such as Light Up A Life.

However, I saw that most up close and personal when I was eight, when my dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer and spent a lot of his final months at the hospice. He received extraordinary care from the doctors and nurses there, and it always felt like a safe and welcoming space to spend time with him.

The incredible warmth of the place almost makes you forget its raison d’être and that very poorly people are being treated there. During those final months, it felt like a safe cocoon from the painful reality that we were all facing and I will be forever grateful for that. While losing a close family member is always a painful experience, it was of great comfort that my dad was able to have a dignified and comfortable end to his life. By Matthew Valentine

Nightingale House Hospice holds a special place in the hearts of me and my family. In December 1998 we lost our dad to cancer. In the latter months of his life he was cared for at the hospice. The lengths the staff went to caring for my dad was phenomenal. Whenever we visited, felt peaceful.

After my dad’s death I received bereavement support for which I will always be grateful and it has helped shape the person I am today. I still have the memory book which I made at this time.

My mum has dedicated a light on the hospice Christmas tree every year since, and it is always a time we can reflect and be thankful for the care my dad received. By Ben Valentine

The Leader:

Above: Mark, Rowena and Matthew Lewis honour Jayne's memory.

• Christmas can be difficult, especially when you’ve lost a loved one. We lost Jayne two years ago after her battle with cancer.

Around the festive period, we enjoy being with our family and friends who help us through this upsetting time. The shared experiences and love from others keep our spirits up, and we have been to two of Nightingale House Hospice’s Light Up A Life services.

This event allows us to come together with others who have had similar experiences and remember our loved ones. The sense of empathy and resilience is beautiful, we are all here together and that makes you feel stronger.

Last year, we all had candles, and the moment when they were all lit and we started singing was something special! Even when things seem darkest, there will be a light to show you the way. Nightingale House Hospice was our shining light; although we were only on the ward for a few days, being under the care of the hospice meant we could enjoy our last precious moments with Jayne.

Nightingale House continues to be a support for our family even after Jayne passing away, as we have made new friendships and enjoyed new experiences. We are determined to raise as much money as possible for the hospice, as it has been a very difficult year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The majority of funding for Nightingale House comes from donations and fundraising events, which have had to be postponed. We are keeping our fingers crossed for 2021, as we will be involved in the trek up Kilimanjaro, and we are excited to raised money through this event. By Mark, Rowena and Matthew Lewis