Lights shine out at hospice
CategoryNorth London Hospice
Hundreds of lights shone out at North London Hospice on Sunday 25 November as crowds gathered for the annual Light up a Life ceremony. Around 1,000 people gathered on the street and pavements outside North London Hospice in Woodside Avenue, Finchley, for this year’s tree-lighting event. Crowds gathered at North London Hospice for the Light up a Life ceremony Picture taken by Kostas Lasithiotakis Each light on the giant horse chestnut tree in the hospice grounds is sponsored in memory or celebration of someone special. Chairman of the trustees John Bryce said: “This is one of the most important and significant events of the year for us because its emphasis is on the patients and families who have been helped in a very direct way by the hospice. “It involves people with shared experiences coming together. This is an occasion for remembrance – for the good times we have enjoyed, for love and companionship.” Before the lights were turned on there were short readings from the hospice chaplains and music was provided by the Salvation Army band. A joint choir from Finchley Catholic High School and St James Catholic High School, Colindale, sang a beautiful arrangement of Robbie Williams ‘Angels’. Volunteer Joe Attridge, whose wife died at the hospice six years ago, then shared his story about how the hospice became part of his life. Susan O’Dwyer, whose husband Brendan died at the hospice in 2003, said: “I attend the ceremony with my children and now my grandchildren. It’s a time for us to get together as a family and think about the people we have lost. “I really appreciate that it’s a multi-faith ceremony as I am not religious. North London Hospice is a great cause and this is a lovely way to support the work it does.” This year the appeal has so far raised more than £80,000 which will go towards helping people in Barnet, Enfield and Haringey who are living with a terminal illness. The tree will be lit up every evening until early January and lights can still be sponsored – you don’t have to have a connection to the hospice. Call fundraising on 020 8446 2288 or visit www.northlondonhospice.org.