Shining bright in memory of lost loved ones

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Hundreds of lights are now twinkling brightly in Leeds as the city remembers lost loved ones this Christmas.

Friends and family last night gathered at the The Light shopping centre in the heart of the city for the YEP’s annual Light Up A Life Appeal carol service.

6 December 2017....        Light up a Life at The Light in Leeds supporting St Gemma's and Wheatfields hospices.  Picture Tony Johnson.

6 December 2017.... Light up a Life at The Light in Leeds supporting St Gemma's and Wheatfields hospices. Picture Tony Johnson.

The moving ceremony saw a 25ft Christmas tree lit up with hundreds of sponsored lights, each sparkling in memory of a loved one no longer with us.

A roll of honour – listing the names of all those with lights dedicated to them – was also unveiled and has taken pride of place next to the tree for the rest of the Christmas period.

Addressing the crowd, Yorkshire Evening Post editor Hannah Thaxter revealed this year’s Light Up A Life appeal had raised £7,243 for the YEP’s Half and Half Appeal, in aid of Leeds’ two hospices, St Gemma’s in Moortown and Sue Ryder Wheatfields in Headingley.

She said: “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.

6 December 2017....        Light up a Life at The Light in Leeds supporting St Gemma's and Wheatfields hospices.  Picture Tony Johnson.

6 December 2017.... Light up a Life at The Light in Leeds supporting St Gemma's and Wheatfields hospices. Picture Tony Johnson.

“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.”

Speaking after the service, Pete Watson, senior community fundraiser at Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice, said: “Thank you to everyone who attended the Light up a Life event at The Light. It was a beautiful ceremony and wonderful to see so many of the local community attending and supporting their two local hospices, Sue Ryder Wheatfields and St Gemma’s.

“Our sincere thanks to the Yorkshire Evening Post, The Light, Hall Royd Brass Band and Raise Your Voices choir for helping to make the evening so special.”

The YEP’s Half and Half Appeal has raised over £2.9m since 1982.

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