Hospice supporters gather in Charlotte Square Gardens

Supporters gather in Charlotte Square Gardens for annual tree lighting ceremony

Supporters gather in Charlotte Square Gardens for annual tree lighting ceremony image

Over 400 people braved the stormy weather to attend the annual ‘Light up a Life' ceremony

St Columba’s Hospice Care welcomed over 400 supporters to Charlotte Square Gardens in the city centre last night, to switch on the tree lights for its annual Christmas appeal, ‘Light up a Life'.  This year, the lights were switched on by local schoolgirls, Amy Dunlop (5) and Katie Ballentine (5), who met through the Family Support Service of St Columba’s, following the death of both of their dads in 2022. 

The service was open to all, not just those with a connection to the Hospice and the lights on the Tree of Remembrance symbolise dedications made by supporters across Edinburgh and the Lothians in memory of people who have died. 

Jon Heggie, Director of Income Generation for St Columba’s Hospice Care, said: “This year, as with every year, we’ve been overwhelmed by the support of the people of Edinburgh and the Lothians. Light up a Life is a hugely important appeal for us, as it brings the community together at what can be a time of mixed emotions for many who are remembering a loved one.  

Every single penny raised by this appeal will directly benefit families in our care and help us to reach even more people next year. Our appeal this year seeks to highlight the vital work of our Hospice at Home service and pioneering new Palliative Care Virtual Ward; supporting more patients and their families where they want to be cared for. We’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has supported the appeal, and the Hospice in 2023.” 

The event, sponsored by Farmer’s Autocare and the Walter Scott Foundation, included a speech from Hospice at Home Lead, Mandy Murray, and a performance of festive tunes from The Edinburgh Brass Band. 

Special thanks to long-term event supporters Purves Marquees, N L Productions and Hopetoun Estates.

Our Light up a Life appeal runs each winter and the money raised is used to provide specialist care for patients with life-limiting illnesses and their families throughout Edinburgh & East Lothian. The tree will remain lit throughout the festive period until Tuesday 2 January.  Dedications can be made via the Hospice website throughout December https://stcolumbas.safeandsecurewebservices.net/christmas or by calling the fundraising team on 0131 551 1381.

Illustration of dove carrying letters

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