Tracey Reynolds, 50 from Heaton is taking part in Light up a Life for the first time this year. She has decided to dedicate a life in memory of her mother, Pauline Holmes who died two years ago.
Tracey volunteers several days every week at the St Oswald’s charity shop on Bedford Street, North Shields. Its through her volunteering that Tracey learned about the range of services that the hospice offers, and then decided to remember her mother by taking part in our annual Light up a Life remembrance campaign in support.
I started volunteering at the St Oswald’s shop in North Shields after being off work for quite a while through ill health. I had previously worked in an office, but fancied a change. I wanted to do something that would make a difference, so when I heard about St Oswald’s shops, they sounded perfect.
I do as many days as I can around my paid part time work elsewhere. I can honestly say that its given me a new lease of life. I was at a cross roads in my life when I left my last job and being part of the team here has boosted my confidence and self-esteem.
It was when I was volunteering that I heard about Light up a Life. My mum didn’t go to a hospice for end of life care. She was very stubborn and wanted to stay at home, which I supported, but I think it would have been beneficial to have been able to leave the care to the experts to allow me to just be a daughter.
I thought dedicating a light on the Hospice Christmas tree is a lovely way to remember mum at this time of year, as it’s supporting a service which is important to so many families. As well as making my donation, I hope to be able to attend the service in Newcastle in December.
For a donation to the Hospice, supporters can dedicate a light in memory of a loved one, on a special Christmas tree, which will be displayed at a Remembrance Service on Tuesday 12th December at the Metro Radio Arena.
The service will feature musical performances from Newcastle Concert Band and Urban Chorus. As part of the service children will be invited on stage to sing a festive carol. Everyone is welcome and the service will culminate in the giant tree’s light being switched on.
Supporters who make a donation in memory to the Light up a Life campaign will receive a Christmas card inscribed with their loved one’s name as well as a memory star, which they can personalise with their own message.
Tracey and the team at North Shields have created a Light up a Life inspired window display at the shop, where shoppers can make a donation and write a special message to a loved one on a star. These will be displayed in the window in the run up to Christmas.
Like Tracey, local people can remember a loved one by taking part in Light up a Life whether or not they have a direct link with the hospice.