More people than ever can take part in South Bucks Hospice's 'Light Up A Life' event this year by paying tribute to their lost loved ones at a special tree of remembrance.
The tree has been placed in the foyer of the hospice at Butterfly House in Kingswood Park, High Wycombe, up until Christmas Eve.
Local residents are able to walk into the building between 9am and 4:30pm on weekdays and pay tribute to lost friends and relatives with some quiet reflection time by the tree, where memorial stars can be placed.
This followed the hospice's hugely-successful Light Up A Life service at Holy Trinity Church in Hazlemere on November 27.
The annual Light Up A Life is a familiar event in the calendar, but November's service broke with tradition by being held for the first time outside the hospice.
The hospice's Chief Executive Officer, Jackie Ward, said: "We had an estimated 65 people turn up which was a really good gathering, and they seemed to appreciate the quiet reflection, music and prayers during the service. Everyone had the chance to light a candle and put memorial stars on a tree to remember loved ones who had been lost. We were not able to hold a service last year due to Covid-19 so this was possibly the first time since the pandemic began that people have had a chance to remember their loved ones."
Afterwards guests were able to enjoy refreshments including hot drinks and mince pies in the newly-opened Atrium cafe.
The popularity of this event spurred on the hospice to find a way to extend it for more people - a Christmas tree was kindly donated by Notcutts and placed in the foyer by a team of volunteers from Marlow technology company Softcat.
Jackie Ward added: “We realised that not everybody would be able to attend the church service and we wanted to find a way to allow the whole community to take part if they wanted to. Christmas is a very poignant and lonely time of the year for many people who are missing loved ones who have passed away, and we have found in years gone by that Light Up A Life commemorations act as a great comfort.
"We were very grateful to the Softcat volunteers for sparing their time to help us with bringing the tree to our foyer, and were of course also thrilled with the support given to us by Holy Trinity Church at the earlier service."
There is no charge for spending time by the Light Up A Life tree in the hospice foyer - however donations in support of the hospice are very welcome. The hospice, which has a large car park at the rear, can be found at HP13 6GR. For more information on Light Up A Life, email firstname.lastname@example.org.