The much-loved Light up a Life cathedral service organised by Eden Valley Hospice and Jigsaw, Cumbria’s Children’s Hospice is gearing up to return next week.
It will be the first time it is held in-person since 2019.
Staff, volunteers and supporters of the charity, based in Durdar Road in Carlisle, are busy making the final preparations for the service which will be held at the city’s cathedral on the evening of Friday, December 9.
Martha Pardoe, Relationship Fundraiser at the hospice, said: “It’s been such a long time since we’ve been able to welcome our incredible supporters, the local community and other special guests to our Light up a Life service at Carlisle Cathedral and we cannot wait to see everyone again.
“The service promises to be a very special occasion, with music, readings and plenty of opportunities to remember loved ones. Thank you to all those who’ve very generously donated to the appeal so far, your contributions will really make a difference to local families.”
The special cathedral service hasn’t been heldfor three years due to Covid, although virtual services have been produced in recent years to keep the tradition alive.
The cathedral service, along with a smaller gathering at the hospice, is part of the wider Light up a Life appeal; a vital, annual fundraising appeal for the charity.
The hospice must raise more than £3 million each year to continue caring for local people with life-limiting illnesses.
The cathedral service is an opportunity for hospice supporters and the wider local community to come together and rememberpeople who have died.
It is open to all members of the community and starts at 7.30pm.
During the service, the Christmas lights will be turned on by Andrea Mortimer, of Penrith, whose son Jacob was cared for by Jigsaw last year.
Jacob was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour when he was just six months old and sadly died a few months later in Jigsaw.
Andrea and her family continue to support the charity in a number of ways.
The charity has already held its more intimate Light up a Life gathering at the hospice which took place on Sunday, November 28.
This gathering, which featured a performance by the Border Concert Band, was also the first of its kind since 2019 and was well-attended by hospice supporters of all generations.
It was also an opportunity to officially switch-on the Christmas lights in the hospice grounds with that part of the service led by Joe Alecock, from Carlisle, who has been supported by Jigsaw for around 16 years.
The football mad 26-year-old has a muscle-wasting condition and attends Jigsaw regularly for respite care.
Joe said: “Jigsaw is a loving and caring place that you can also have a good laugh in, a bit of banter which always helps.
“The best thing for me is being able to get that break from day-to-day life.”
To donate as part of the Light up a Life appeal, go to www.edenvalleyhospice.org/support-us/lual-22