On Thursday 21 November staff and volunteers at Woking & Sam Beare Hospice were joined by some very special guests to switch on the lights of the Hospice Memory Tree.
Switching on the lights this year were the Grandchildren of Gill Doherty. Lily, Alice, Belle, Lola, Beatrice and Anna who were joined by Gill’s, husband Paul and her three children Jon, Abi and Andrew.
Gill who suffered from Motor Neurone Disease had been cared for at her home in Walton-on-Thames by the Sam Beare Hospice Team before she died on the 1st December 2018, just a couple of weeks before her 68th birthday. Gill was a talented writer who spent much of her spare time writing short stories and poems and had expressed hopes of one day having her work published.
As a surprise for Christmas 2017 Gills Daughter in law Gemma collated some of Gill’s children’s poems, illustrated them and got a small run of books published as Christmas gifts for the whole family. Following Gills death as a tribute to the memory of a loving wife, Mother and Grandmother the whole family agreed to have the Children’s Book of Poems published and in appreciation of the care that she had received the proceeds from the sale of the books donated to the hospice.
Anna, Gill’s youngest Granddaughter at just 3 years old was given the job of switching the switch following a countdown from the other children, staff, volunteers and supporters. Once the lights were on there was entertainment from Sarah Jones singing some festive tunes and a beautiful and emotional rendition of You Lift Me Up performed by Sophie Walker age 10.
Brookland’s Radio interviewed the Doherty family before the memory Tree switch on. you can listen to the interview here.
“We would like to say a huge thank you to all of Gill’s family, for attending the light switch on and to all the children for helping us they did an amazing job.” commented Marian Imrie CEO of Woking & Sam Beare Hospices “Also thank you to the Major of Woking, Cllr Beryl Hunwicks and Rhod Lofting founder of Woking Hospice for joining us it was a fantastic way to start our Light up a Life Celebrations”.
The Memory Tree will be In the Hospice Café until January and all are welcome to add stars and dedications, you can do this by visiting the café, via the website here
A Collection of Children’s Poems by Gill Doherty is available at the Café at any of the Light up a Life Services and on the hospice website here