Hundreds of lights twinkled brightly last night to celebrate the lives of lost loved ones in Leeds.
Generous YEP readers and their families raised £11,000 for two of the city’s much-loved hospices.
Tears were shed as crowds gathered around the 25ft Christmas tree in the heart of The Light Shopping Centre for the YEP’s annual Light Up A Life Service.
Hundreds of sponsored lights, which sparkled in memory of the city’s loved ones, took pride of on the towering tree.
Crowds wrapped up warmly and braved the freezing temperatures and the fog to sing carols and listen to poignant readings during the service.
Thousands of pounds will be donated towards the YEP’s Half and Half Appeal, which supports St Gemma’s and Wheatfields Hospices.
YEP features editor Jayne Dawson, who addressed the poignant service, said: “Light up a Life is always a bitter-sweet occasion.
“Because the reason we’re here tonight is to remember people we have lost.
“That is always painful but at Christmas those memories are even more poignant.
“But the purpose of Light Up A Life is a positive one.
“It helps raise money for two organisations that do wonderful work for the people of Leeds.
“Those of you who have attended Light Up A life before will know that each year a fantastic amount of money is raised through the generosity of the people of Leeds.
“I am delighted to say that this year you and we together have raised £11,000 on behalf of St Gemma’s and Wheatfields.
“That is a fantastic amount in just a few short weeks and on behalf of the charities I thank you all for your contribution.”
The long-running appeal raises funds for St Gemma’s Hospice, in Moortown, and Sue Ryder Care Wheatfields Hospice in Headingley.
The names of those with lights dedicated to them will be listed on a Roll of Honour which takes pride of place at The Light until the end of the Christmas period.