A Christmas appeal launched by Sue Ryder is shining bright after an overwhelming response from the local community.
Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice in Peterborough, launched its annual Lights of Love campaign in the Mercury and we backed their call for businesses, shops, schools and churches to get involved with the festive fun and host their own Lights of Love tree.
Since then, more than 10 organisations from across Stamford, Rutland and Bourne have jumped at the chance to get involved and host their own Lights of Love tree.
Those that have got involved include: from Stamford - Rhino’s Gym, Frothy’s Coffee Shop, Stamford Hospital and Stamford Indoor Bowls Association; from Rutland - Melton and Oakham Building Society and Messenger Construction in Tinwell; and from Bourne - Blue Eyed Dolls and Bourne Salads, as well as ABC Day Nursery in Tallington.
Rhino’s Gym in Stamford, have already put up their Lights of Love tree, and gym members have been putting the festive Lights of Love baubles onto with their own handwritten messages.
Linda Swann, from Rhino’s, said: “We saw the article in the paper and thought it was a great cause.
“We wanted to help a charity this Christmas, so this was a great opportunity.”
ABC Day Nursery in Tallington have also been decorating their tree with the help of all the children.
Sarah Kennedy, one of the practitioners at the nursery, said: “We think the hospice in Peterborough is important and that’s why we wanted to offer our support.
“One of our members of staff passed away last year from cancer, so its a cause close to our hearts.
“The kids love the tree and we are going to have fun decorating it throughout December.”
All of these companies will help to raise the vital funds needed to go towards the £6m appeal, for the funding of a new hospice on the Longthorpe site in Peterborough. The appeal recently reached its halfway mark.
Hopsice fundraiser, Kirsty Clipston said: “The response to our Lights of Love campaign has been overwhelming - south Lincolnshire and Rutland are going to be lit up with trees raising money for our appeal this festive season.”
Help has also come forward from Stamford and Bourne-based firm Knead Pubs and Tallington Farm, which have donated a 12ft Christmas tree to the hospice. It will be the centre piece for the hospice’s Lights of Love carol concert.
Michael Thurlby, owner of Knead Pubs, said: “When we heard the Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice Appeal was looking for a 12ft tree we were keen to help.
“We wanted to support a cause that we know means an awful lot to our locals.”
Jo Marriott, Thorpe Hall Hospice fundraiser said: “The Thorpe Hall Christmas tree will be a focal point of the celebrations and will be decked out in hundreds of personal messages, including from those who had a loved one cared for at the hospice.
“We’re really grateful to Knead Pubs and Tallington Farm for donating this year’s tree. It’s not always easy to find one to fill such a large space or hold such a large number of decorations but they’ve found the perfect one!”
This year’s Lights of Love carol concert will be held on December 14 at Thorpe Hall. There will be an open air carol concert in the ground of the hospice, followed by a spectacular firework display.
Other supporters of the appeal include Stamford XT members, who have presented a cheque to the hospice for £20,000.
John Willoughby, chairman of Stamford XT said: “This is the first multi-year project that the club has undertaken and is the biggest donation we have made. The new hospice will benefit many people in the region and we are very pleased to have been able to help.”
Estate agents, Sharman Quinney have pledged a year of fundraising to support the hospice to celebrate their silver anniversary year and kicked off the fundraising with a dress down day which raised over £400.
Kirsty added: “Thorpe Hall Hospice has always had great support from across Stamford, Rutland and Bourne but over the last few months residents have surpassed themselves.
“We’ve seen people shaving their heads, running marathons, climbing mountains - and getting their friends and family to join them.
“Several groups have supported us for the first time too and that couldn’t have come at a better time as we enter the last phase of our appeal.”
For more information on how to turn your Christmas tree into a Lights of Love tree, call Kirsty on: 01733 225999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you take part call the Mercury newsdesk on 01780 758951 or e-mail a picture to SMEditor@StamfordMercury.co.uk.