THE magic of Christmas came to Chorley when the grounds of Derian House Children’s Hospice were transformed into a winter wonderland for a brand new festive event yesterday (Thursday).
Families flocked to watch a brass band, shop at festive stalls, and see 150 Christmas trees – each displaying a heartfelt tribute from families and supporters – covered in twinkling fairy lights and a dusting of snow.
Santa himself joined the “Trees of Love” event on Thursday evening (22 December) for the first time the charity has opened up its enchanted Christmas forest to the public.
Each year, the hospice in Astley Village offers the community a chance to celebrate a loved one in a unique and special way by dedicating a “Tree of Love” in return for a £100 donation.
Each tree bears a special plaque and can be decorated in any way the supporter wishes.
Mum Keeley Gregory dedicates a tree to her son Eddie every Christmas.
Eddie was diagnosed with a brain tumour and spent his final days at Derian House Children’s Hospice before passing away aged 16.
Keeley said: “Christmas is for children and Eddie loved Christmas. As we try to find a new normal in our lives without Eddie we need to make new traditions and we feel that by supporting Trees of Love at Derian each year we have created a new tradition.
“The tree is Edward’s space – decorated how he would have liked and a place for friends and family to come and remember him especially at Christmas time.”
Ellie Smith, Community Fundraiser at Derian House, said: “Trees of Love is a way for local people to remember loved ones while also supporting our children and families – and this time we were able to share it with the community. It was quite moving to see everyone come together to share memories over mince pies.
“Putting big smiles on faces is a huge part of what we do at Derian House and we really cannot thank everyone enough who has supported Trees of Love this Christmas. It costs £5.7million to run services at the hospice so we rely heavily on the generosity of our supporters.”
Derian House Children’s Hospice has been helping children and young people with life-limiting conditions make the most of every moment for almost 30 years.
Find out more: www.derianhouse.co.uk