A new tree has been planted at Uckfield Community Hospital which will carry “Lights of Life” over the Christmas period in memory of lost loved ones.
It has been donated by the town?s Chamber of Commerce following a request from St Wilfrid’s Hospice.
The Siberian Spruce can be seen just to the right of the hospital building as you look at it from the main car park.
Prayers will be said there during a special ceremony on the evening of Thursday, December 9, and about 30 people will watch as the lights are switched on. A service and refreshments will follow.
Similar ceremonies have been held for the past two years for those wanting to remember loved ones. Rootless trees have previously been brought in for the occasion but it has always been difficult to stop them blowing over.
Hospital matron Sue Adams said the new tree would make all the difference. “It is beautiful and we will take good care of it.”
The planting of the tree coincides with a celebration of Sue’s 41 years with the National Health Service, 31 of those years at Uckfield Hospital both at its previous site off London Road and now at Bird-In-Eye Hill.
Just last year Sue was presented with the prestigious Queen?s Nursing Institute Award, in recognition of her outstanding service to patients. The award was signed by the Queen.
One of the reasons for the award was the work done by Sue in looking after patients, on the ward, by helping to implement a specially agreed pathway of palliative and terminal care.
She said the tree would be a focal point to be enjoyed by all but particularly by those remembering lost loved ones. The lights will be left on all day and night during the festive season.
Joining the matron as the tree was planted on Wednesday, October 20, were Chamber of Commerce secretary Ian Blackaller and executive committee member Chris Macve, who is also deputy chairman of the hospital’s League of Friends.
Ian said the Chamber of Commerce was pleased to provide the tree. He hoped a plaque would be added at a later date to commemorate the presentation.