Each Christmas, the tree at Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services, Harold’s Cross, is adorned with thousands of sparkling lights – each one shining in honour of someone special who is in your thoughts. It is a truly moving and spiritual experience.

Light up a Life has offered great solace and joy to so many since it began in 1992. Last year, over 26,000 people were lovingly remembered through lights sponsored in their name.

This year has been so incredibly difficult for all of us. As a country, we have had to stay apart in order to come together to keep each other safe, and we’ve been reminded just how important connections with our loved ones are.

Never is that more true than when those loved ones are no longer with us. Shining a light has become a symbol this year of remembering those we have lost, and those we are still protecting.

It is the way that so many people choose at Christmas time to remember their loved ones and those close to them. And every Christmas, the lights sponsored on lightupalife.ie beam across the world for friends and family to see.

Light Up a Life is the most important annual fundraiser for Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services. The restrictions from COVID-19 have impacted our fundraising activities, so this year we need your support more than ever.

Your support will help to fund our essential frontline services as well as much-needed equipment and facilities – ensuring both patients and their families receive peace, comfort and dignity when they need it most.

By sponsoring a light for €6, you can both remember and honour your loved one as well as supporting our patients and residents.

If you’re missing someone this Christmas, please remember and celebrate them – in the most magical and moving way. Light up their life. And once you have remembered your own loved ones, please take some time to browse through the tributes, photos and stories shared by others.

“There is not enough darkness in all the world to put out the light of even one small candle” St Francis of Assisi

This year, we won’t be able to host our magical and moving Light Up A Life ceremony as a public event due to COVID-19 restrictions, but we will be organising a very special virtual event on the 6th December which we will share on our website www.lightupalife.ie on our social channels and will be sent out by email.

We are delighted that Nathan Carter will be our ‘virtual’ Christmas Ambassador this year  and Ian Dempsey will return as MC of the virtual event.

The Light up a Life website enables you to sponsor a light in honour of a loved one you wish to remember this Christmas. When you sponsor a light for €6, you will be invited to include a tribute to your loved one, such as a poem, a picture, a message or a precious memory.

When you have completed your light(s) sponsorship, an acknowledgement email will include a link to your loved one’s memory. We invite you to then share your thoughts and memories via Facebook and Twitter should you wish.

You will also have the option of receiving our special Light up a Life card for sending to friends and loved ones or displaying in your own home; this special card includes a small Christmas Tree decoration and can be purchased for an additional €1.

To sponsor a light, click the Create a Light button at the top of the screen, then enter your message and details. You can search for names and dedications by clicking ‘Search for a Light’ then inputting the details requested.

The ‘Shop’ button allows you to purchase cards, tree ornaments, books and more.

If you wish to make a donation to Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services, click the donation button at the top of the screen and fill out the simple form.

*If you have any difficulty with the site or would prefer to sponsor a light by telephone, you can call  1850 66 06 06 (Monday to Friday 9am – 5.00pm) and our volunteers will be happy to help.

Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services raise funds from the support of individuals, companies, schools and the local community and every year we need to raise over €5.5 million simply to maintain our current levels of service. It is thanks to the compassion, commitment and generosity of our generous donors that we cared for over 4,000 patients, residents and their families in 2019 as well as providing over 11,000 specialist palliative homecare visits to patients in their own homes.

On behalf of all those who use Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services, we would like to extend our most grateful thanks to everyone who supported us throughout 2020. Have a peaceful and relaxing Christmas.

Light Up a Life offers companies the opportunity to support us and in turn be recognised for their generosity through a range of benefits. Such benefits include branding and logo placement, presence on our Light Up a Life website, promotion of your company to partners, patients, families, staff and volunteers and a Light Up a Life e-tag to show your support and use on your email.

There are different levels of support available and with each level, comes different benefits. To find out more about how your company can help make a tangible difference to the lives of patients at Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services please click here or contact Susie Cunningham, Corporate Manager, [email protected] or (01) 491 1072

Established in 1879 by the Religious Sisters of Charity, Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services provide specialist and person-centered loving care to our patients and residents who have a wide range of needs from rehabilitation to end-of-life care.

Operating from two campuses, Harold’s Cross (est.1879) and Blackrock (est.2003), we have 200 beds serving a catchment area of over 1 million people. We have 600 medical and general staff and 330 incredible volunteers who care for more than 4,000 patients every year as well as providing over 11,000 specialist palliative homecare to patients in their own homes. In 2020, we are delighted to welcome the Wicklow Hospice into the OLH family.

Inspired by the pioneering work of Mother Mary Aikenhead, the Religious Sisters of Charity opened their doors in Harold’s Cross in 1879 and welcomed the poor and poorly to avail of a comfortable and dignified environment. 141 years later that precious charitable ethos remains unaltered.

What has changed however is the population we serve. As people are now living longer and have more complex care needs, we must provide even more specialist facilities and services of the highest quality to meet these critical requirements. We are now therefore undertaking a most ambitious project in our history: the complete refurbishment of our 12 single palliative care en suite bedrooms in Blackrock and the evolution and expansion of our community based care services provided at both sites to meet growing demand and anticipated future needs.

The complete refurbishment of our 12 palliative care bedrooms in Blackrock to emulate the quality and standard we now have in Harold’s Cross. This important project will be fully funded through fundraising. We also continue to fundraise for further expansion and development across all our services so that we can deliver optimal care in the right environment for all of our patients, residents and families.