Heartfelt tributes to both the region’s hospices launched the 2018 Light Up a Life appeal in front of an audience of thousands on Sunday at Barnstaple’s Christmas switch-on.

Light Up a Life 2018Light Up a Life 2018

The festive appeal offers people the chance to remember someone they love, by making a donation to North Devon Hospice (NDH) or Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW) in their memory.

The Cameron family from Barnstaple will be facing their first Christmas without Eddie, a much-loved husband, father and granddad.

Eddie died at North Devon Hospice in June and his family will be honouring his memory for the first time through the appeal.

They told the crowd how the hospice had supported them through such a tough time and how remembering Eddie at Christmas was important to them.

His son Jamie Cameron said the hospice quickly became a sanctuary: “When we first got told dad was going to the hospice we were very, very scared.

“But within the first hour we were just overwhelmed with how incredible the place was.

“Dad was able to go outside with the grandkids and they could play in the gardens. We made some special memories.”

Barnstaple teenager Sam Walter has been receiving support at Little Bridge House in Fremington since he was five and his mum Jo Boydd paid tribute to CHSW and how much it meant to the family. You can read their full story in next week’s Gazette.

At the launch, a special Light Up a Life star was lit on Barnstaple Square. Matching stars will shine at both hospices and at the Gazette, which has supported the appeal for more than 20 years.

Gerard Fawcitt, of North Devon Hospice, said: “These stars represent those we miss. As Christmas approaches, it is only natural to think of those no longer with us and Light Up a Life offers a way to remember our loved ones while making a difference, because donations made in their memory help us to care for local people, just like the Cameron family.”

CHSW events fundraiser Jayne Jarrett said: “Light Up Life is always such a special appeal and to be able to once again share the launch with thousands of people in Barnstaple Square was truly memorable.

“It was incredibly powerful to hear local families talking about why our hospices are so important to them and we hope their stories will help encourage people to really support our charities through the Light Up a Life appeal this Christmas.”

*******If you would like to donate to the appeal in memory of a loved one, text LUAL10 £(enter amount) to 70070, go to www.lual.co.uk or call NDH on 01271 347232 or CHSW on 01271 325270.

The name(s) of your loved ones will be entered into a special Light Up a Life book of remembrance, available to view at Light Up a Life services throughout December.

CLICK HERE TO DONATE .

Light Up a Life services

Sun, Dec 2, 6.30pm, St Philip and St James, Ilfracombe

Sun, Dec 2, 10.30am, St Mary’s Church, Appledore NDH only

Mon, Dec 3, 6.30pm, St Mary Magdalene, Chulmleigh

Wed, Dec 5, 6.30pm, Methodist Church, Marwood

Thu, Dec 6, 6pm, St Sabinus Church, Woolacombe NDH only

Fri, Dec 7, 7pm, Grosvenor Church, Barnstaple

Sat, Dec 8, 7pm, Methodist Church, Holsworthy

Sun, Dec 9, 4pm, Methodist Church, Northam CHSW only

Sun, Dec 9, 6.30pm, Fremington Methodist Church

Sun, Dec 9, 6.30pm, Methodist Church, Combe Martin

Mon, Dec 10, 7pm, Christ Church, Braunton.

Wed, Dec 12, 7pm, South Molton Methodist Church

Wed, Dec 12, 7pm, All Hallows, Woolsery

Thu, Dec 13, 7pm, Christ Church, Barnstaple CHSW only

Thu, Dec 13, 7.30pm, The Bethel Church, East the Water

Fri, Dec 14, 6.30pm, St Peter’s Church, North Tawton CHSW only

Sat, Dec 15, 6pm, Bideford Pannier Market

Sun, Dec 16, 7pm, Methodist Church, Torrington