Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services celebrates 30 Years of Light Up A Life

Special guest performance by singer Brian Kennedy

by Gazette Reporter
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Excitement is building as Our Lady’s Hospice & Cares Services (OLH&CS) prepares for its annual flagship fundraiser, Light Up A Life. Not only is the live event returning after two years, but this is also the 30th anniversary of this special event at its Harold’s Cross site.

This year, to mark the special anniversary, OLH&CS is bringing back its special Light Up A Life remembrance ceremony after a two-year break caused by the pandemic. Traditionally seen as the start of the festive period for many, this year will be extra special as singer and guest of honour, Brian Kennedy will headline a concert of well-known festive songs. He will be joined by other special guests and MC, Ian Dempsey.

The performance, expected to attract more than 10,000 people, will culminate in the lighting of the Light Up A Life Christmas tree, a magical and emotional spectacle for all who attend.

Audrey Houlihan, Chief Executive Officer of Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services said: “Although we have adapted during the last two years and held online Light Up A Life Ceremonies, the live spectacle is something special. We are incredibly grateful for the ongoing support we have received for the event, especially over the last number of years. The fact that we are celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Light Up A Life is testament to the important place it holds in people’s hearts.

“Demand on our services has increased and the pandemic challenged our 660 medical staff and 350 volunteers like never before. However, we have continued to adapt and evolve our services to meet people’s needs. We are currently refurbishing our Blackrock Hospice to improve the environment in which we provide our care. When it opens in early 2023, the extended patient bedrooms will include sofa beds for loved ones to stay overnight, and technology to help those with specific requirements to remain as independent and safe as possible. These improvements will cost in the region of €7 million and fundraising will fund 100% of the construction costs”, she added.

Brian Kennedy, OLH Light Up a Life
Picture Conor McCabe Photography.

The Light Up A Light remembrance ceremony is free to attend. Funds, which are raised through people sponsoring lights in memory of a loved one and sales from the online Christmas shop and on the night, are crucially important to OLH&CS and the care it delivers. During the last two years, OLH&CS cared for almost 18,000 people across in-patient care, home visits and virtual visits, despite a 21 percent decrease in fundraising during Covid-19.

Ahead of the live performance, Brian Kennedy said: “Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services and the work it does across its sites in Dublin and Wicklow and within people’s homes and communities is something I greatly admire. I really appreciate the important place Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services holds in terms of delivering care and comfort to people and their families during what are very difficult times.

“While it is great that we are able to gather again this Christmas, it is important to remember that the season can be difficult for many. Light Up A Life offers people the opportunity to remember and reflect and of course enjoy some music along the way. I will be performing some Christmas classics on the night as well as joining in the celebrations of 30 years of Light Up A Life”, he added. The 30th Anniversary Light Up A Life Remembrance Ceremony takes place on Sunday, 4th December from 3.45pm on the grounds of Our Lady’s Hospice and Care Services, Harold’s Cross. Although there is no parking available on-site, the location is well-served by public transport. Light Up A Life sponsored lights in honour of loved ones and displayed online as well as commemorative 30th anniversary decorations cards, decorations and pins are available online via the Light Up A Life website: https://lightupalife.ie/

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