KEMP Hospice Help To Light Up Lives With Poignant Service Of Remembrance

10th December 2018

Kidderminster based charity KEMP Hospice helped local families this weekend to honour the memories of their loved ones by hosting two poignant events. The hospice celebrated the 25th anniversary of their Light up a Life campaign in Kidderminster Town Centre on Saturday morning, while their children’s bereavement service, KEMP for Kids hosted a family Lantern Walk through the Wyre Forest in the evening.

‘Light up a Life’ has been a permanent fixture of the charities calendar since it was first launched in 1993 and the event brings together people who have been bereaved. Every year special trees are put up across the district, including the main Light up a Life tree in Kidderminster’s Swan Centre. People are asked to fill in a dedication tag, make a donation to KEMP and then the tags are attached to the trees across the district.

The second Saturday of December is the day where those who have written a tag are then asked to congregate at the main tree in the Swan Centre for a special blessing, ahead of a service of ‘celebration’ which is held every year at Kidderminster Town Hall. This year around 200 people came to the Hall where there were special readings of remembrance made by members of the KEMP Hospice team, interspersed with carols and special songs performed by The Kidderminster Valentines.

Events Fundraiser at KEMP Hospice Shelley Stanley said that this years’ service had a special meaning: “This year we not only came together as a community to make memories shine, but also it was a chance to meet some of the people who have been taking part in Light up a Life for over two decades. It really is a special day and we are so lucky that people want to share their memories with us. It really is a privilege to be able to hear their stories and learn more about their loved ones. This year was the events silver anniversary, and next year KEMP Hospice itself will celebrate its 50th birthday so to have silver and gold together on Saturday was an extra special moment.”

Following the Light up a Life service many local families then also headed to the Wyre Forest Discovery Centre in Bewdley where the charity’s Family Support team hosted their annual Lantern Walk which also celebrated a milestone. The 1km walk through the Wyre Forest is put on every year by their children’s bereavement support team called KEMP for Kids – which turned 5 this year. This year the KEMP for Kids Lantern Walk saw over 100 people take part in a festive stroll through the Wyre Forest, which had been especially illuminated and a special shared moment of remembrance took place at the forest’s centre, as parents and children remembered loved ones who have died.

Shelley Stanley added: “The Lantern Walk, which always follows our Light up a Life event, is the last event of the season that we put on for people to attend. All year we have had phenomenal local support for our events and I want to take this opportunity to say a heartfelt ‘thank you’. Now we’re looking ahead to 2019 which is our 50th anniversary and we have some big plans to celebrate our big birthday. We can’t wait to share them with everyone. All I can say at the moment is ‘watch this space’…next year is going to be golden!”