They came because they cared.
Despite terrible weather causing havoc around the country, hundreds of people visited Kirkwood Hospice to attend its annual Light up a Life events.
High winds forced organisers to change their plans for an outdoor ceremony on Saturday, with visitors instead invited into the warmth of the Hospice in Dalton to view the Book of Lights and enjoy warming refreshments.
But with the weather easing on Sunday, Kirkwood’s poignant outdoor ceremony was able to go ahead.
And around 600 people, from all parts of Kirklees and beyond, came together in the Hospice gardens to remember friends and family and dedicate a light in their honour.
Emotive readings from Hospice sister Noreen Williams, fundraiser Nicola Barber and Spiritual Care Co-ordinator Jonathan Sharp on the theme of hope were followed by the lighting of an impressive beech tree, which sits at the heart of the Hospice gardens.
Each light on the tree represents the life of someone being remembered. The tree will continue to shine throughout December as a tribute to the special people who are absent as the year draws to a close.
Sally Senior and her daughter, from Birkenshaw, came to Light up a Life to remember their loving mum and grandma Barbara Clifford.
“Kirkwood Hospice is a very special place, and it’s somewhere that my mum enjoyed being. It’s a sanctuary really and the care and support she received here was unbelievable.” said Sally.
“Mum had pulmonary fibrosis so she was very breathless when she came to the Hospice which made her very anxious. But the staff were fantastic with her, absolute angels. In fact we’ve bought an angel today.
“We’ll be choosing the brightest light on the tree for Mum tonight”.
Charlotte Bentley, a social worker from Crosland Moor, dedicated a light to her dad Shaun who was cared for on the Hospice’s in-patient unit for four weeks before his death on October 23 this year.
“We came to remember Dad tonight.” said Charlotte. “The Hospice was a special place for him and he had such a lovely ending.”
Kirkwood fundraiser Wasim Hussain, who organises the annual event, was delighted by the number of people who came along to make the celebrations so special once again.
He said: “Light up a Life is a wonderful event. It gives people in our community a chance to come together to reflect and remember family and friends who have illuminated our lives.”