More details have been released for St Elizabeth Hospice’s Suffolk Remembers 2021 with popular Suffolk singers, Christina Johnston and Roma Manteiga-Nicholson, announced to lead the memorial event’s musical performance.
Every year Suffolk Remembers, sees 5,000 candles displayed along Felixstowe seafront as hundreds of people gather to remember their loved ones. However, due to restrictions concerning the Covid-19 pandemic, last year the event was broadcast as an online video for those who had dedicated a candle to view.
This year Suffolk Remembers will once again take place on 21st June, coinciding with Suffolk Day 2021, in its more traditional format while adhering to government guidelines surrounding Covid-19.
The memorial event will be hosted along Felixstowe seafront, near to the Spa Pavilion, with the Suffolk community coming together with the hospice, alongside Mayor of Felixstowe Mark Jepson, to remember loved ones who are no longer with us.
“Suffolk Remembers is perhaps more poignant this year than ever before, dealing with loss at any time can be incredibly challenging but the last year has seen more people losing their fight for life than in generations,” said Mayor of Felixstowe, Mark Jepson.
“Having an opportunity to remember family and friends I am sure brings great comfort. I know people who light a candle every year for loved ones who died a few years ago and this demonstrates the strength of this lovely memorial event.”
As part of Suffolk Remembers 2021, the whole community is invited to dedicate a candle to be displayed along Felixstowe seafront in memory of a loved one, even if they have not previously been under the hospice’s care.
With each dedicated candle it is encouraged supporters make a donation to the independent Suffolk charity, which every year cares for more than 3,000 patients, living with a progressive or life-limiting illness, and their families throughout East Suffolk, Great Yarmouth and Waveney.
All are welcome to dedicate a candle and the hospice is encouraging all who have lost a friend or relative to Covid-19 to take the opportunity to join people from across the region in remembering them through Suffolk Remembers 2021, which once again is sponsored by East of England Co-op Funeral Services.
Between 9pm-10pm there will be musical performances from Ipswich singer, Roma Manteiga-Nicholson, and well-known soprano Christina Johnston from Framlingham, as well as an opportunity for the public to see the first statue for St Elizabeth Hospice’s 2022 fundraising art trail the Big Hoot Ipswich.
With ‘A Hoot to Suffolk’, designed by local artist Angie Ashford, which features artwork that celebrates all things Suffolk will also be located along Felixstowe seafront for the evening.
Roma Manteiga-Nicholson said: “I’m extremely excited to be performing at Suffolk Remembers 2021 for St Elizabeth Hospice. The hospice provides comfort and care for patients and families and I’ve supported them by fundraising at events for the last three years and volunteering recently at their Zest charity shop, which raises funds for their young adult service.”
Christina Johnston, who will also be lighting candles in dedication to her father, grandfather and grandmother at Suffolk Remembers 2021, added: “These past, more than 12 months have been such a difficult time for families to be able to say their goodbyes in the normal way.
“Being from Framlingham myself and experiencing the immense support and help from St Elizabeth Hospice with my own family members in the past, I know how vital the work of St Elizabeth Hospice is and how much they provide families during terribly difficult times, this year more than ever.
“It will be such an honour for me to be part of this very special event of the lighting of the candles in memory of our dear loved ones who are no longer with us. It is a really moving and beautiful occasion to dedicate to the ones we love who can no longer stand beside us but who are imbedded deep within our hearts.”
Each dedication will also feature a photo and a message to a loved one which will be included in the Suffolk Remembers’ online gallery and a physical electric candle will be added to the hospice’s physical event display.
All the Suffolk Remembers’ candles will remain on the seafront until 25th June, so those unable to attend the memorial can still come to make their dedications and reflect throughout the week, while the event will also be broadcast virtually on the hospice’s YouTube channel, live on the night for those who are unable to attend in person.
Pauline Donkin, Head of Individual Giving and Supporter Care at St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “Every year Suffolk Remembers is an opportunity for us to reconnect with the whole community and join together to remember loved ones who are no longer with us.
“It is a special event to celebrate and share stories of those being remembered as well as a chance to meet new people who are also making their dedications. At Suffolk Remembers you won’t be alone, the candle you light to remember someone special will shine brightly along with the memories of thousands from across our region, as the community joins together.”