Hospice celebrates Light up a Life

Families and friends came together for John Taylor Hospice’s Light up a Life, remembering people they have loved and lost and celebrating their loved ones.

Hosted at Harvest Fields Centre in Sutton Coldfield on Friday 6 December, the evening included songs performed by the Rock Choir, readings and an update on some of the hospice’s latest news. The event then moved outside for the Tree of Lights to be illuminated and for people to hang their special Light up a Life stars on the tree.

There was also the chance for families to see dedications they had made to their loved ones in John Taylor’s Book of Lights and to enjoy hot drinks, samosas and mince pies.

Ken Trueman from Great Barr came with his family to remember Brenda, his wife of 52 years. “Brenda was cared for at home for a few weeks by the Hospice at Home Team. We were all so well looked after and they really were golden. Brenda died 20 months ago and this event is a special way for us to remember her.”

Ken Trueman and family

Since Brenda was cared for in 2018, Ken’s connection with John Taylor has continued and he now regularly attends a weekly social group and volunteers his time to help raise valuable funds to support the work of the hospice.

Ken, aged 75, explained: “I visited the hospice to drop off some of Brenda’s clothes for the charity shops. When I was there I bumped into some of the nurses that cared for her and we got chatting. They told me about the Friday Social Group which I now go to. I also decided to start volunteering and have been part of the team at the hospice’s charity shop in Wylde Green since it opened in November 2018. It’s a great team, we’re really close-knit and I enjoy it.”

At Light up a Life for the first time was Angela Nankervis with her husband Paul, daughter Nicole and nine-year-old granddaughter Lanai. Angela was remembering her mum Daisy who died in December 2017 and her sister Diane who died at John Taylor Hospice in 2011.

“It was my daughter who told me about Light up a Life as she lives near Harvest Fields and saw it advertised,” said 58-year-old Angela. “We’ve not been to one before but it sounded like such a lovely idea. My sister was cared for at home and at the hospice, she was 44 when she died.”

Lanai and Angela Nankervis

John Taylor Hospice holds Light up a Life each December, giving people the opportunity to make dedications to their loved ones, to donate to the hospice and to attend the Light up a Life event.

Community and Events Fundraising Manager Emily Boate said: “Light up a Life is always a very special evening for hospice staff and the families and patients we support. It was lovely to see so many people come together at the event this year. We already have next year’s event booked at Harvest Fields for Friday 4 December so please put it in your diaries.

“Light up a Life also gives people the chance to make a dedication to their loved one and a donation to the hospice and this year we have raised more than £10,000 so far. You can still make a Light up a Life dedication and donation on our website.”

For pictures of Light up a Life see our Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/jthospice/

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What our patients think

“The care was second to none”

“At such a heartbreaking and difficult time, the nurses and care assistants knew exactly what to do and to say – we’d have been lost without them. The care they provided for my beautiful wife was second to none and I’ll be forever grateful.”

Roger Perks

“Nothing is too much trouble”

“I can’t thank hospice teams enough. From fitting grab rails in my house and ordering a reclining bed, reviewing of all my medication, providing me with new medical equipment and even helping to organise domestic help for us at home – they’ve covered everything but are always willing to do even more.”

Jackie Bannister

“I don’t know where I’d be without them”

“The support I get is truly is invaluable and I honestly don’t know where I’d be without them. I’m able to talk openly about my illness and ask for advice and support if I need it. I’ve made some incredible friends and the hospice is a very special place full of laughter and kindness. “

Liz Warren

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