Local people are invited to write a special message to loved ones and hang it on the Christmas memorial trees at Epsom and St Helier hospitals.
Anyone can dedicate a star or wooden bauble to celebrate the life of a loved one, or write a personal thank you message to a friend, relative, member of staff or hospital team. The decorations are available in the reception area at St Helier Hospital and the Fundraising Office at the front of Epsom Hospital.
To celebrate the return of the memorial trees, special guest, Hollie Perry from the Bearing Hope campaign, switched on the festive lights at St Helier Hospital earlier this week.
In 2016, Hollie Perry and Scott Eyre were told that their unborn daughter had Triploidy syndrome – a rare condition that meant Hope had an additional set of chromosomes and would be unlikely to survive for long. They launched the Bearing Hope campaign, raising over £20,000 to renovate the maternity bereavement room, which after a full refurbishment, was opened last year. Hollie has recently launched a new campaign to fundraise for new facilities on the Gynaecology Ward.
Hollie said “I am honoured to have been asked to switch on the lights on this year’s memorial tree. Nothing can take away the pain of losing someone we love, whether it is those who have lived long lives, those we have lost suddenly, or a baby or child. It is absolutely vital that we do everything we can to support families and individuals during these times and I am proud to support the hospital and staff, and create a legacy for Hope.”
Hollie was joined by staff from Epsom and St Helier University NHS Trust including maternity staff, nurses and doctors. Singers from the St Helier Hospital choir were also at the ceremony, singing a selection of Christmas hits.
Director of Midwifery and Gynaecology, Marion Louki, said: “It’s important to remember that during this festive season not everyone is celebrating with loved ones. The memorial tree is a wonderful idea that really captures the spirit of remembrance and thanks that occurs at this time of year.
“If you would like to remember a loved one or someone special, please fill in one of the decorations and place it on our Christmas tree in memory of them. We hope that, by the end of the festive seasons, both our trees will be decorated with tributes to local people who have touched the lives of those around them.
“I would like to say a huge thank you to the organisations who donated the trees, the staff, and Estates and Facilities Team who put them up.”
The trees, which were kindly donated by Crossways Nursery in Purley and Barratt Homes, will be on display throughout the festive period outside the main entrances of the hospitals.
With the 15ft tree at St Helier, we needed a little extra help to set up the electrical supply and to hang the lights at St Helier Hospital, and we extend our thanks to MG electrics PG Marshalls for their time, generosity and assistance.