Light up a Life appeal: Hundreds prepare to make special Christmas dedication

St Anns Hospice Chief Executive Eamonn O'Neal
St Anns Hospice Chief Executive Eamonn O'Neal at last year's Light up a Life service at Manchester Cathedral

As the festive season draws ever nearer, hundreds of people from across Greater Manchester are preparing to make a very special Christmas dedication to their loved ones.

Thousands of people have taken part in the Light up a Life appeal for St Ann’s Hospice over the last 23 years by dedicating a light on one of the hospice’s Christmas trees in honour of their loved one, whilst making a donation to the charity.

Organisers are expecting hundreds more to join them again this year, remembering someone special they can’t be with at Christmas, either with a special tree light, or creating an online dedication in the charity’s winter forest which can include a photo and message to a loved one.

Eamonn O’Neal, Chief Executive from St Ann’s, explained: “I can’t explain the feeling when you look at our Christmas trees glowing and know that each of the lights is shining for someone very special.

“It’s so incredibly moving, and everyone at the hospice loves to take time at the Light up a Life services to think about all the patients and families we’ve cared for. It’s a real privilege to play a part in someone’s life, and to hear feedback on how we have improved the lives of our patients is something that never fails to warm the heart.

“We know Christmas can be a difficult time for those who have lost loved ones, and the appeal gives people a way to honour their friends and family members, whist enabling us to continue providing care to others.

“Not everyone who takes part has an association with the hospice – some join the appeal to remember someone they love, or perhaps to honour someone that they simply can’t be with at this special time of year.

“We’re enormously grateful to everyone who makes a dedication, whatever their reason, and I’m really looking forward to seeing all of the fabulous lights shining on our trees, and the touching dedications in our online winter forest.”

As well as dedicating a light, supporters are also invited to attend one of the hospice’s special Light up a Life services, which take place at the St Ann’s sites in Heald Green and Little Hulton, at Manchester Cathedral, and at St Peter’s Church in Hale.

The charity, which operates from three sites in Little Hulton, Heald Green and the Neil Cliffe Centre in Wythenshawe Hospital cares for thousands of patients every year with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses – managing their symptoms, providing support, caring for people at the hospice or at home, and providing end of life care.

For more information on St Ann’s, or if you would like to dedicate a light to someone special, please call St Ann’s Hospice on 0161 498 3631 or visit