Every year we take a moment to remember our loved ones together and to celebrate with our St Gemma’s community those people who are truly special to us and will never be forgotten.
As part of Light up a Life, we are inviting you to dedicate a light on our trees to your loved ones, whilst helping us to continue our care for other families whose loved ones are being supported by St Gemma’s.
Last year we cared for over 3,000 people in our Hospice and in the community. Your support of Light up a Life is enabling us to continue providing specialist care when these families need it most. Our Bereavement Services support around 1,200 people each year, ensuring that each and every person within the family is cared for and supported when they need it most.
Sam has very kindly shared her story of the care her family received at the Hospice and continues to receive now.
“Steve arrived at the Hospice last November. We hadn’t realised how traumatic the last months had been until we walked through the doors of the Hospice. It was the first time since his diagnosis that it didn’t feel like we were fighting.
They told us they were here to take over and that we don’t have to worry anymore. We still didn’t think that would happen after how difficult the last few months had been. They talked through everything with us, it was such a sense of relief, but it took us about 4 / 5 days to fully trust.
I thought, this is how it should feel – you deserve this.
Steve decided he wanted to go to St Gemma’s. On his first night I didn’t want to leave him, but when I got home I got a text from him saying ‘I feel safe’. They changed our lives.
He was dying then, but it was the happiest month we had the whole year. It was transformative, they were such compassionate people.
Steve had a list of things he wanted to do with Jacob, our son, a lot of which he wasn’t able to do, but St Gemma’s helped us to celebrate Christmas early. I was expecting a turkey sandwich, but they laid a table for 6 of us in Steve’s room with all the trimmings. A three course meal with Christmas cake and a yule log. Centre pieces, crackers and a Christmas Tree.
I have always known about St Gemma’s as I live locally, but I don’t think you realise exactly what St Gemma’s is until you experience it.
That Christmas dinner and Light up a Life, It’s one of the prevailing memories we have.
The morning of Light up a Life he went to sleep, and I was worried he wouldn’t wake up again. The nurses told me to speak to him as he would still be able to hear me. I told him about Jacob switching on the lights and that I would video it for him.
The nurses know how close it is, they are always exactly right, but they told me he could hear me. He could hear me, he woke up an hour before the light switch on, and the nurses brought him to the doors of the hospice to see Jacob switch on the lights.
His words to Jacob after were “Well done son, I’m so proud of you, my beautiful boy”.
Steve fell asleep not long after the service, and never woke up.
Light up a Life is a precious, beautiful ceremony. All those families together that have a connection to the Hospice.”
We understand that not everyone wants to make a dedication. However you can still support our Light up a Life Appeal. Just click the donate button below and choose no dedication.
If you received a Light up a Life donation form in the post, return it to: St Gemma’s Hospice, 329 Harrogate Road, Moortown, LS17 6QD.
You can contact our supporter care team on 0113 218 5555 to make a donation and dedication over the phone.
Please make your dedications before 26th November to guarantee that they will be displayed on the Roll of Honour.
Dedicating a light on our trees to your loved ones is simple, and you can remember as many loved ones as you wish to.
Once you have made your dedications you will receive your dedication pack with your personalised tribute cards. Your loved ones names will also be displayed in our Roll of Honour at the Light up a Life ceremony here at the Hospice.
Light up a Life at St Gemma’s Hospice
Join us to light up our trees here at the Hospice on 10th December. The outdoor ceremony will start at 4pm, however please join us a hot drink inside before the service from 3pm.
For more details visit our Light up a Life at St Gemma’s event page.
Light up a Life online
Our service at the Hospice will be live streamed for you to watch at home on 10th December at 4pm. You can join us in remembering your loved ones, even if you can’t be with us at the Hospice.
For details on how to watch the service please visit the event page.
Light up a Life at Immaculate Heart Church
Our local church Immaculate Heart of Mary will be hosting a Light up a Life service for anyone to attend on 14th December at 6pm.
For more details please visit our Light up a Life at Immaculate Heart event page.