The memory of loved ones shone brightly at the Treetops Hospice Care Light Up a Life ceremony on Sunday 1 December.

Hundreds attended the special event during which a minute’s silence was held before the lights on the Treetops Christmas tree were switched on – all of which were sponsored in memory of someone special.

The nurses were literally like a light in the darkness

Carli Lakin and her family turned on the lights during the ceremony. Carli’s mum, Julie, was supported by Treetops nurses and Carli explained how much difference this made:

“It was my mum’s wish to stay at home and receive palliative care and we so wanted to honour her last wish.

“As a family we had no experience of caring, especially in a home setting and we were often left feeling stranded not knowing what to do for the best or where to turn for help, something no family should have to deal with when caring for a loved one.

“At a time when nothing made sense and everything seemed a battle, the Treetops Hospice at Home nurses were literally like a light in the darkness. We no longer felt like we were fumbling about alone. We had support and advice that was exactly what we needed.

“From the very first phone call and meeting, we knew that we had found the help and advice we desperately needed as a family. Not only did they advise and give emotional support, they gave compassionate care to my mum and gave my dad the chance to have some respite from being my mum’s main carer. It was so nice to have people to help us who understood the system and the way palliative care at home works.

They enabled us to care for my mum in her last few weeks at home

“As a family we will forever be grateful and thankful for the Treetops nurses. They enabled us to care for my mum in her last few weeks at home, where she wanted to be, and she passed away peacefully with dignity.”

The ceremony included performances by the Stapleford Salvation Army band and Sing for your Supper Choir. Erewash Borough Council donated the Christmas tree.

Dedications were on display in Books of Remembrance in Treetops Cheetham Centre which hosts the hospice’s counselling and emotional support services.

Treetops services include Support and Information, Wellbeing Space, Hospice at Home nurses and Therapeutic Services including counselling, art therapy and complementary therapy.