Appeal for Leamington Tree of Light support for Myton Hospices on day of Christmas switch-on event in town centre

Leamington town centre's Christmas lights are being officially switched on in a virtual event on Friday (November 27) and this will include the Tree of Light outside the town hall.

The Myton Hospices is urging supporters to donate to the Leamington Rotary Club's annual Tree of Light fundraiser, which allows people to dedicate a light in memory of a loved one, while also raising much-needed money for the charity.

Barry Andrews, Leamington Rotary Club chairman, said: “The Tree of light has been going for 20 years and Myton has been our charity partner for many of those years.

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“This is a great way to honour and remember a loved one, while also supporting a great charity.”

The Leamington Tree of Light in 2017.

For Andy Smith, Coventry Myton Hospice provided incredible support when his wife Helen, who had terminal cancer, was admitted for end-of-life care in August 2019.

Andy said: "Experiencing Myton made me realise it is as much for the loved ones as it is for the patients.

"We could be a family rather than worrying about looking after Helen.

“We made the room ‘hers’ with Helen’s favourite cushions from home and photos of the family. I brought my guitar with me and was able to sing to her.

Helen and Andy Smith with their grandchildren.

“She was drinking a gin and tonic at ten o’clock on the Friday morning, her bed was moved over to the patio, the grandchildren were playing on the lawn and she had a massage, it was just amazing.

“There were times we laughed when we thought we wouldn’t be able to laugh again.

"The nurses were marvellous – Helen was a quiet, shy and private person but as soon as we got to Myton, it was like she knew she was in safe hands.”

The Leamington Courier is supporting the Trees of Light campaign and will carry the coupon each week up to Christmas and the New Year alongside articles about the dedicated work of The Myton Hospices.

Last year the charity supported more than 1,800 people and their families through its hospices in Warwick, Coventry and Rugby.

For this to continue it must raise over £9 million in voluntary donations, even more desperately needed now that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused many annual fundraising actvities to be cancelled.

The postal coupon will also appear in some newspapers as a drop-out flyer and at some places around the towns, and donations can also be made online at the Justgiving site, where you can donate and enter the remembered name in the Comments box.

To comply with the latest Covid lockdown, the Leamington Tree of Light will be switched on during the planned Four Towns Lights Switch On "virtual" event starting at 5.45pm on Friday to be streamed on the Warwick District Council's Facebook page and YouTube channel.