Light tribute will go ahead virtually for bereaved families in Wigan

Bereaved families will still be able to pay tribute to their loved ones this Christmas as a memorial service goes online.
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Wigan and Leigh Hospice’s Light For A Life appeal launches today and people who have lost someone during the coronavirus pandemic are being encouraged to get involved.

The annual event gives people the opportunity to remember their loved ones by dedicating a light in their memory on a huge Christmas tree at the front of the hospice.

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Lindsey Caplan, a counsellor at the hospice, said: “It has always been an important event for those who have lost someone cared for by the hospice, but it is open to anyone who has sadly been bereaved and wants to make a dedication – there does not need to be a connection to the hospice. However, it is important that we vocalise that more powerfully this year and invite anyone who has experienced such sorrow to join us.

Children from The Keys Federation Schools singing at last year's serviceChildren from The Keys Federation Schools singing at last year's service
Children from The Keys Federation Schools singing at last year's service

“Many people have lost someone this year – both to Covid-19 and other illnesses – and because of restrictions they have not had the opportunity to hold the funeral they would have liked or hold a fitting memorial. By inviting everyone to take part in Light For A Life and dedicate a light to their loved one, we hope it brings some comfort.”

Usually people are invited to a ceremony at the hospice, but this year they are asked to light a candle at home and watch the service online.

Dr Alan Baron, the hospice’s chief executive, said: “This is the most special night of the year for the hospice and we will miss everyone wholeheartedly. However, our main concern is keeping people safe.

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“This has been a challenging year for us all. At the hospice Covid-19 impacted upon – and continues to affect - every one of our hospice services. Our nurses, doctors and healthcare assistants have been on the frontline of care, looking after some of the most vulnerable people in our borough throughout the pandemic, while reducing the burden on the NHS.

“Everyone who makes a Light For A Life dedication will be helping to ensure that vital care continues to be provided for people from Wigan and Leigh who are living with an incurable illness or need end of life care.”

A virtual service will be held at 6.30pm on Tuesday, December 8 on the hospice’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.

Dedications can be made at or by calling 01942 525566, until the twelfth day after Christmas.

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