Shine a light for your loved one this Christmas

John Taylor Hospice is inviting families and friends to celebrate someone special this December by making a Light up a Life dedication in their memory.

People can dedicate a light which will shine brightly on the hospice’s Tree of Lights and include a personalised message to their loved one in a special remembrance book. Every donation made will help John Taylor Hospice teams to continue providing care for people living with a terminal illness and their families.

Each year, hundreds of people come together for John Taylor Hospice’s Light up a Life celebration event. Local communities are warmly invited to join this year’s occasion on Friday 6 December at 6.30pm at Harvest Fields Centre in Sutton Coldfield for an evening of music, readings and the illumination of the Tree of Lights.

Among those making a dedication this year is Rachael Everton from Sutton Coldfield who will be shining a light for her mother Julie Bowdler. John Taylor Hospice teams provided care for mum-of-two Julie who died on 30 July 2019, aged 57.  

Julie Bowdler

Rachael, who will be joined at the Light up a Life event by her father Andrew, brother William and her husband Dan, said: “Mom had been battling cancer since 1995. She was amazing and never complained or let things get her down and she always made sure my brother and I came first.

“When I got married in July my mom was too ill to attend the ceremony, but hospice staff went out of their way to make sure we could celebrate together as a family. They bought us Champagne and decorated Mom’s room with a flower arch, candles and personal messages.

“They even arranged for Dad and I to stay overnight in a family room at the hospice so we could all get ready together in the morning. It was amazing and we were so moved. Thanks to them we will always have such beautiful and special memories from that day.”

Rachael and her family are so grateful for the support they received that they went on to organise a BBQ party in Julie’s memory – raising almost £4,000 to help fund hospice services. “John Taylor Hospice is a charity so close to many family’s hearts and hundreds of people every day need their help,” added Rachael, 28.

Julie’s family and friends hosted a fundraising BBQ in her honour

“We are honoured to support such a loving and supportive team and they deserve so much more than we could ever give for everything they did to help Mom and make her life as comfortable as possible at the end.”

Emily Boate, community and events fundraising manager at John Taylor Hospice, said: “We know what an important event Light up a Life is for so many families. The event also raises thousands of pounds for our charity every year and it is only thanks to the kindness and generosity of our supporters that local people can continue to receive the care and support they need.

“So, by dedicating a light and making a donation, you are also lighting up the lives of others – helping to ensure these vital services are available for people like Julie and her family 365 days a year.”

To make a dedication and donation please visit or call the hospice Fundraising Team on 0121 728 6739.

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What our patients think

“I’d have really struggled without them”

“They’ve been ever so good to me and that’s why I wanted to fundraise and do something to help just like they’ve helped me.”

Philomena Sharpe

“The impact they had will never be forgotten”

“The community nurses were so helpful and they’re lovely people. They put my mind at rest and it’s such a comfort to know you’re not on your own.”

Jackie Day

“An angel sent into my life”

“I can’t thank Angie (patient and family support worker) enough for everything she’s done for us. She’s so reliable and professional – a wonderful person. She took away all these worries and was there for me in my time of need.”

Patricia Smith-Evans

“I’ve really enjoyed it”

“The FAB Programme has helped me to get fitter and my walking is better. Everyone is really nice at the hospice, they’re friendly and they’re good company. I’d recommend it to anyone who is in a similar situation to me.”

Don Bell

Please click here to donate for Light up a Life