THOUSANDS of lights were switched on in memory of loved ones in St Oswald’s Light up a Life Remembrance Service in Berwick.
The service, attended by the Mayor and Mayoress of Berwick, John and Anne Robertson, was an opportunity for people to dedicate a light on a special Christmas tree to friends and family who have passed away and to place a dedication in St Oswald’s Book of Remembrance.
Mia and Freya McLintic, aged eight and five respectively, pupils at Wooler First School, switched on the Christmas tree lights in memory of their great grandmother, Nancy Swinney, who died at St Oswald’s earlier this year.
Mia said: “It was really nice to think of Nana when we were switching on the lights on the Christmas tree.”
Nancy’s daughter, Carol Johnson, explained: “My mother took ill two years ago and I was looking after her. There were nurses helping but I was struggling. Dr Paul McNamara came and said ‘you can’t carry on doing this, something’s got to give’. It was like a weight was taken off my shoulders. My mother then spent some time in Berwick Infirmary where Dr Paul and Dr Phil Caisley who work at St Oswald’s saw her.
“In March she was moved to St Oswald’s where she stayed until she died on June 23. She was delighted to come to St Oswald’s, a home from home for us. There was always someone there if I wanted to talk. From the beginning to the end they were wonderful in every respect.”
The Books of Remembrance will be available in St Oswald’s Chapel at the Hospice throughout the coming year.
St Oswald’s provides hospice care to local adults, young people and children with life limiting conditions at an annual running cost of £9.5 million, of which £6.5 million must be raised through voluntary giving.