Hundreds of local residents, young and old, braved the weather on Thursday (December 10) to support Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice’s annual ‘Light up a Life’ remembrance ceremony which is on course to raise £65,000 for the charity.

The event, held at the Hospice grounds in Selly Park, gave local family members and friends a chance to remember lost loved ones ahead of the Christmas period. This year it was split into two ceremonies, one at 4.30pm and one at 7.30pm, which were hosted by BBC WM Radio presenter, Pete Morgan.

“When you see the faces out there enjoying the choirs, the music, the fireworks, the tree all lit up whilst thinking of others at a special time of year, it’s just lovely. It’s wonderful to see the work that Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice is doing.”

Pete was joined on stage by Hospice ambassadors Beth Warren, Ann Wall and her daughter Niamh (10) to switch on the Christmas tree lights in memory of those no longer with us.

Ann Wall, from Kings Heath, received bereavement counselling from Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice when her mother lost her battle with lung cancer.

"Being a part of the Light up a Life Ceremony is very special to me. I see it as a special way to remember my mum.  She lit up our lives in so many ways and Light up a Life reminds us of those special memories we have of her.  

“Whilst our loved ones may be gone, the Light up a Life Ceremony is a special evening where we can celebrate our loved ones with people who share similar stories to ourselves. Birmingham St. Marys Hospice brings people together. The Light up a Life Ceremony reminds us we are not alone"

Local choirs and performers entertained visitors with Christmas carols and songs before the lighting of the Christmas tree and fireworks. Family members were able to write the name of a loved on a star which was placed around the tree as well as having the opportunity to view the hospice ‘Book of Remembrance’. Around 3,500 loved ones names have been entered into the book, which will be available to view in the Hospice reception.

The Light up a Life appeal makes a significant contribution to the ongoing work of Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice. £8 million is needed each year to run the hospice which cares and supports for over 1,200 patients and their families in Birmingham and Sandwell living with a terminal illness.

If you would like to donate to the Light up a Life appeal please call 0121 472 1191 or make an online donation here.