THIS year the COVID-19 pandemic has made it impossible for Northern Ireland Hospice to hold their traditional Lights to Remember ceremony.
But they are determined to support families across Northern Ireland who have lost a loved one.
This Thursday (December 17) NI Hospice will be hosting their special online ceremony and asking families to join with them and hold their own.
Everyone can make it their own individual event but to help is listed some ways below to help create your own Lights to Remember.
• Put the date and time in your calendar now, Thursday 17 December, 7pm. This will mean you have time set aside away from all the Christmas arrangements which can easily take over at this time of year.
• Arrange for your family or friends to join you for the event, if you can’t meet up physically, then call them online and you will be together as we broadcast the ceremony.
• Take some time before the ceremony starts to talk about your memories and remember the good times, the sad times and the things that made you laugh.
• Have photographs of your loved one around you.
• Dim your lights and have candles (please be safe with fire). We’ve always had small LED candles, these can be bought cheaply in local shops. For health reasons this year, we can’t issue our normal candles.
• Share your memory of your loved one so it can be placed on our virtual tree, just visit www.nihospice.org/lights
• At 7pm on the December 17, sit back, relax and enjoy the music and reflections of the service and watch as the lights at Somerton House and Horizon House are turned on.
Mary McCall, Director at Northern Ireland Hospice said, “The Lights to Remember service is so important to Hospice, even though this has been a difficult year we were determined to support families who have lost a loved one. We’ve created a virtual event that we will be showing on our Facebook pages as well as our You Tube channel on Thursday 17 December at 7pm, although it’s not the traditional way we host Lights to Remember we hope everyone enjoys the service and finds some comfort as they remember those they love.”
NI Children’s Hospice and The NI Hospice are Ballymena Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s adopted charities.
“Chamber normally collect for the charity at the Business Excellence Awards – the awards had to be cancelled this year, so Chamber are donating £1,000 to support the charity,” outlined Tom Wiggins, Chamber’s Business Development Manager.
“It is remarkable that during these times the Hospice staff put aside any thoughts of danger to themselves to continue to provide caring services to those in need and their families. The commitment and compassion shown by Hospice staff at such a difficult time should not be underestimated. As a Chamber we are very proud of our long association with the Hospice and we will continue to support the Hospice and the incredible work it does in any way we can.”