Light up a Life this Christmas with Rowcroft Hospice

Rowcroft Hospice is inviting everyone to take part in its ‘Light up a Life’ celebration by honouring and remembering the lives of loved ones lost. Throughout November and December you can make a dedication in memory of your loved one and, with a small donation to Rowcroft, you can help the hospice to care for local patients and families who are facing the hardest times imaginable this Christmas.

“Light up a Life is for everyone wishing to remember a loved one, not just those families cared for by Rowcroft,” said Rebecca Cogger, Rowcroft’s Friends and Family Fundraising Manager. “Our Light up a Life celebration invites you to dedicate a light to our ‘Tree of Light’, in memory of those special people who shine brightly in your heart, and who are truly missed every day. Your light will then be illuminated on our Tree of Light in a special online celebration on Sunday 6 December at 5pm – with poignant readings, moving poems, soothing music, and quiet time for reflection.”

The stunning Tree of Light, which nestles in the hospice’s beautiful garden in Torquay, will sparkle with hundreds of lights, glittering like jewels in memory of loved ones. To make your dedication, go to  www.rowcrofthospice.org.uk/light

“Your dedication enables you to celebrate the life of a loved one, and at the same time to make a real difference to the lives of so many patients and families needing Rowcroft’s expert care and support this Christmas,” said Rebecca. “Through this COVID crisis, our care has never been more important, as families are having to cope not only with the illness or loss of a loved one, but also with additional pandemic-related challenges, such as loneliness, anxiety, fear, isolation and lack of support and comfort.”

Since Dawn Stirk’s husband Eric passed away ten years ago, Dawn has taken great comfort from Light up a Life. She reflects on Eric’s time at the hospice before he died on Christmas Eve:

“One evening, people were singing Christmas carols in the gardens outside the hospice ward. Everything inside was still and quiet and the familiar Christmas tunes floating through the air were comforting. It felt like they were singing just for us.  The combination of the care shown by Rowcroft and the memory of those carols mean that far from Christmas being difficult, I can still say that Christmas is my favourite time of year and for that, I am eternally grateful to Rowcroft.

“Every year, I take part in Rowcroft’s ‘Light up a Life’ celebration and I am always struck by its powerful effect: it can stir deep emotions, but the overwhelming feeling is one of comfort.”

Rowcroft Hospice provides specialist nursing care, advice and support to people with life-limiting illnesses and their families across South Devon. For families bereaved, the hospice offers much-needed care, comfort and emotional support. While the hospice has a small Inpatient Unit in Torquay, around 80% of its patients are cared for in their own homes, as per their wishes.

As a charity, Rowcroft’s income has been badly affected by the COVID crisis – due to the cancellation of its mass-participation fundraising events, and the closure of its shops in the national lockdown. Lack of income, coupled with an escalating demand for end-of-life care in South Devon, are exacerbating pressures on the charity. Over recent months, the charity’s Hospice at Home service has been flooded by a surge in demand, and referrals to its Community Team – which offers services such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy and bereavement support – have also steadily climbed to reach extremely high levels. As winter approaches, the hospice is bracing for an even greater demand for its care.

“We warmly welcome everyone wanting to take part in Light up a Life – not only people in South Devon, but also those across the UK and globally,” said Rebecca. “So please tell everyone about this special celebration. It gives us a chance to remember our loved ones in a meaningful way – something particularly important at Christmas-time when we’re feeling our loss even more.”

Rowcroft’s Light up a Life celebration is kindly sponsored by Wollens solicitors. Chief Executive of Wollens Chris Hart said:

“The Rowcroft Light up a Life event is even more important to the South Devon Community in 2020 – a year when global events have impacted on the way that we have been able to say goodbye to loved ones. Light up a Life aims to support anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one, not just people touched by the remarkable work that Rowcroft delivers.”

To find out more about Light up a Life or to make a dedication, please go to: www.rowcrofthospice.org.uk/light or call 01803 217450.

For further information about Rowcroft Hospice, please see their website at: www.rowcrofthospice.org.uk

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