Last night, Monday 5th December, we welcomed supporters to Charlotte Square Gardens in the city centre 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, Sibby Bennett and Ella Malo, aged 7, who started fundraising for St Columba’s following the death of family friend Nina Lowe, earlier this year.
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, and over 1000 dedicated supporters braved the cold to attend.
Jon Heggie, Director of Income Generation for St Columba’s Hospice Care, said: “This year, perhaps more than any other, 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. We’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has supported the appeal, and the Hospice in 2022.”
The event, sponsored by Farmer’s Autocare and the Walter Scott Foundation, included a speech from Hospice volunteer Geoff Rae and performances from Ciara Harvie, a 24-year-old classical crossover singer from East Lothian and The Edinburgh Brass Band who performed a number of festive tunes to entertain guests.
The 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 Monday 2 January. Dedications can be made online throughout December at Light up a Life 2022 – St Columba’s Hospice Palliative Care, Edinburgh (stcolumbashospice.org.uk) or by calling the fundraising team on 0131 551 1381.