The 2019 Light Up a Life appeal is now in full swing, with people making donations and attending services across the area in memory of those who are no longer with us.

The appeal runs throughout the festive period, supporting the work of North Devon Hospice and Children's Hospice South West.

Katie Ley, from Barnstaple, will be taking part in Light Up a Life this year in honour of her grandad, who was cared for by North Devon Hospice.

"In April 2019, I lost my best friend, my grandad Jack," said Katie.

"It was such a blow to our whole family, and one of the toughest times we've been through, but the care we all received from North Devon Hospice was second to none."

Jack was supported at home throughout his illness, before being admitted to the hospice's bedded unit, where he passed away surrounded by his loved ones.

Katie said: "Grandad received so much love and care from so many people at the hospice.

"There was his community nurse, Jill, and the Hospice to Home team who all provided amazing care for him at home. Then the whole team on the bedded unit were incredible, they looked after him and our whole family."

Since seeing first-hand how North Devon Hospice cares for local people in their hour of need, Katie has been inspired on her own fundraising mission, to make sure other families can benefit from the same support.

"I've been accepted to run the London Marathon in aid of the hospice, which I am incredibly proud about," she said.

"So now I'm working hard to raise as much as I can, because this charity means so much to us all.

"For me it was devastating to know that Grandad couldn't watch me get married in September, but I want something positive to come out of it, which is why I am hoping to raise as much as possible."

The Light Up a Life appeal offers Katie and her family the chance to remember Jack, at a time of year when his absence will be most keenly felt.

Katie said: "We hope others will join us in supporting the Light Up a Life appeal this Christmas, because it's a lovely way to remember someone special, while supporting a fantastic cause.

"We will enjoy lighting a candle together, knowing that it represents the light that grandad Jack brought to all our lives."

Visit lual.co.uk or call 01271 347232 to find out how you can take part in the 2019 Light Up a Life appeal, either by making a donation or attending in person one of the services taking place across North Devon throughout December.