Havering hospice concerts to remember loved ones

Families and individuals came together to remember loved ones at St Francis Hospice’s annual Light up a Life services.

Around 1,500 people gathered to celebrate, reflect and remember those dear to them.

Two were held in Romford – one at The Liberty Shopping Centre, on December 14, and another at Trinity Methodist Church, in Angel Way, Romford, on December 6.

Havering Mayor Cllr Melvin Wallace, who is supporting the hospice during his year in office, joined around 200 people at The Liberty.

The Hornchurch-based New Dimensions Choir and the Salvation Army Band performed Christmas carols and songs.

Other services were led by the hospice chaplaincy team and included moving accounts about the hospice from patients’ relatives and staff.

Richard Blunden attended the service at The Liberty as well as St Margaret’s Church, Barking, with his son Thomas, four.

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His wife Nikki, died from cancer in April, after a four-year battle with the illness.

Richard said: “Nikki’s first reaction to the hospice was no, you go there to die, but she changed her mind as soon as she attended the day hospice, she loved it. The hospice helped her live and put a smile on her face and I could relax knowing she was being well looked after.”

Elizabeth Palfreman, hospice events manager, said: “As a community based charity it was fantastic that we could celebrate Christmas and the work of Saint Francis Hospice in Romford with shoppers and supporters. I would like to thank The Liberty Shopping Centre and New Dimensions Choir for their support.”

You can still make a dedication to your loved ones and make a donation to the hospice, which provides specialist care and support, free of charge, to local people affected by any life-limiting illness.

The names of people being dedicated will be added to a book of remembrance, which will be displayed at the hospice, in Havering-ate-Bower, until January 6.

To make a dedication call the fundraising team on 01708 723593.