Over 2000 people gathered in Charlotte Square Gardens on Monday 9th December, for the annual Christmas light switch-on event run by St Columba’s Hospice.
The 40ft Tree of Remembrance is now shining brightly with lights symbolising dedications made by people from across the UK, to remember loved ones who have died. The Light up a Life appeal raises vital funds to provide care and support for patients diagnosed with an illness and their families across Edinburgh and the Lothians.
The tree was lit up as part of a ceremony which saw Sir Tom Farmer talk about the Hospice’s work. Sir Farmer, who has sponsored the event for a number of years, turned on the lights with help from 13 year old Ailsa Hardie whose father died at the Hospice last year. Her mother Alison Hardie also took to the stage to talk about her families experience at the Hospice and to remind everyone how important that support is to families across the city. Edinburgh Brass Band also performed a number festive songs at the event.
Edinburgh Castle, Camera Obscura, The Hub on the Royal Mile, George Watson’s College, Mansfield Traquair, Usher Hall, and the Engine Shed in Stirling all lit up in unison with the Hospices’ Christmas tree switch on to show their support for the campaign.
Jon Heggie, Director of Fundraising at St Columba’s Hospice, said:
“Light up a Life is a hugely important appeal for us, as it brings our community together at what can be a time of mixed emotions for many who are remembering a loved one. We’re extremely grateful to everyone who has donated to our Light up a Life appeal so far this year and to all of the buildings lighting up in support of the campaign, it helps raise much-needed awareness of the vital service we provide. The donations we received will enable us to reach and support more families who need us across Edinburgh and the Lothians.”
The tree will remain lit throughout the festive season and into the new year. Dedications can still be made online at www.stcolumbashospice.org.uk or by calling 0131 551 1381.