A WIDOW spoke at a remembrance service of how she was helped by Pendleside Hospice after her husband died.

Speaking at this year's virtual Light Up A Life service, Deborah Wilkinson told how she has benefited from the hospice since her late husband's death.

Viewers watched Deborah tell of her trauma when husband Peter passed away unexpectedly.

She said: “It was comforting to be amongst others who instantly understood how I felt having also lost the people most dear to them. At the hospice I could share fond memories in a safe and friendly environment, without judgment or awkwardness as we were all in the same situation.”

Pendleside’s chairman of trustees David Brown welcomed the viewers, and during the celebration Basics Junior Theatre sang ‘Somewhere’ from West Side Story and ‘Where Are You Christmas’, and the poem ‘If I could’ was read by staff nurse, Helen Thomson.

Soprano Grace O’Malley performed ‘The Prayer’ and ‘Time To Say Goodbye' whilst Pendleside ambassador Josh Hindle sang ‘Tears in Heaven’. The pair also led the carols ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’ and ‘Away in a Manger’.

The reflection was conducted by Julia O’Neill, day services, family support and outpatients manager. A closing thanks was given by chief executive Helen McVey and piper Steve Sumner ended the service.

The event, sponsored by Alderson and Horan Funeral Services, was videoed by Clockwork Eye and is now available to view on Facebook, YouTube and the hospice’s website. It is expected Light Up A Life will again raise more than £100,000 for the hospice.

Sammi Graham, head of events and fundraising, said: “The Light Up A Life service allows people to come together and remember family and friends who have passed away. Thousands of dedicated lights will now shine vibrantly around the outside of the hospice all throughout Christmas and the New Year.

“People can still make donations and include their loved ones in the book of remembrance through to the end of January.”