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Remember a loved one this Christmas and light up our tree

November 24, 2023

Make the memory of your loved one shine bright this festive period by supporting the Light Up Our Tree Christmas campaign, launched by University Hospitals Dorset NHS Charity.

The Christmas countdown has begun for many with Christmas cakes already in the oven and shopping underway. However, for some, it can be a difficult time of year. Especially for those with loved ones that are no longer with us today.

Light Up Our Tree is your opportunity to remember cherished family members or friends we have lost, whether or not a loved one was cared for at the Royal Bournemouth, Christchurch or Poole Hospital.

University Hospitals Dorset NHS Charity is inviting everybody across Dorset and the surrounding areas to make a donation and write the names of your loved ones on a candle decoration to be displayed at either the Royal Bournemouth, Christchurch or Poole Hospitals over the Christmas period.

For 37-year-old Aimee Aldersley from Bournemouth, this will be the first Christmas without both parents.

Last Christmas she and her twin sister spent Christmas day visiting their dad at Poole Hospital, hoping to share Christmas video messages from their brother, the grandchildren and family and friends. Sadly, he was unresponsive until New Year’s Eve. After 7 months in Critical Care, the stroke ward and the Acute Brain Injury Unit, their dad passed away on Sunday 15 January.

Their mum also passed away throughout the Christmas season on Friday 10 December 2020 after living with Amyloidosis, Myeloma and kidney failure. While both parents passed away for different illnesses and in different ways, the care they received from University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust is something that will never be forgotten.

Aimee says: “Throughout the covid pandemic, the medical team did all they could to get mum home for her palliative care just like she wanted and the staff on the Portland Ward cared for dad until his very last moments. In such difficult circumstances we grew close to everybody on the wards and depended on them more than ever.”

“Losing not just one parent but two in almost 2 years is unimaginable. We still can’t believe it. If you have ever lost a loved one and would like to show your support to NHS staff who help people like mum and dad every day, please donate today. Our irreplaceable memories are with us every day, but this candle will represent the light they have left behind in our hearts.”

The local community can make their donation and candle dedication  here.