Photo gallery: Poignant service to remember Leeds’s loved ones

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A poignant service took place which gave people across the city a chance to let the memory of their loved ones sparkle ahead of Christmas.

Dozens of friends and family members gathered at The Light shopping centre in Leeds for the Yorkshire Evening Post’s annual Light Up A Life Appeal carol service.

PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

And hundreds of lights twinkled in memory of loved ones at the venue as part of the annual appeal, now in its 34th year.

People were invited to sponsor a light on a huge Christmas tree at the shopping centre, and all money raised is to be donated to the city’s St Gemma’s and Wheatfields hospice charities.

The names of those with lights dedicated to them was listed on a roll of honour during the event.

YEP editor Nicola Furbisher told the service: “I think everyone here knows all too well that Christmas is a time when happiness and sadness go hand in hand. It is a time when we miss our lost loved ones even more.

“But the purpose of Light Up A Life, as well as to remember those we have lost, is also to help raise funds for two organisations that do such marvellous work for the people of Leeds and the city of Leeds, and they are, of course, St Gemma’s and Sue Ryder Wheatfields hospices.

“Those of you who have attended Light Up A life before – and I know that will be many of you – will know that each year a fantastic amount of money is raised through the generosity of the people of Leeds.”

The names in the roll of honour will now be placed in the courtyard by the tree for the entire festive period.

The event also featured carol singing, a choir and a band.

And there were readings from Jenny Harris and Sue Roberts, who work at Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice, as well as Peter McEvoy, and Diane Lofthouse from St Gemma’s Hospice.

Visitors, friends and family at the service in The Light were also treated to free mulled wine and mince pies on the night.

Donations for Light Up A Life go towards the YEP’s long-running Half and Half Appeal for both hospices.

During the carol service last night, it was revealed that last year’s event raised almost £8,000 for the charities through its fundraising.

St Gemma’s and Wheatfields hospices in Leeds work tirelessly to care for loved ones across the city who have life-limiting illnesses.

For more information about St Gemma’s Hospice, or the care it provides, contact 0113 2185555.

Contact 0113 2787249 for details about Wheatfields.

YEP readers took to our Facebook page to share their views on the emotional service.

Erin Mace: “Lovely, we have several lights on the tree for family members no longer with us.”

Marilyn Layton: “Beautiful tree, thank God for Wheatfields and St Gemma’s.”

Maxine Dickinson: “So lovely remembering our love ones.”

Joan Kitson said: “How lovely.”

Saphieh Ashtiany, the equality and employment lawyer

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