St Elizabeth Hospice’s popular memorial event, Suffolk Remembers, will go ahead despite current challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic.
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 the hospice has announced the return of Suffolk Remembers on 21st June and it is hoped it can be held in its traditional format along Felixstowe seafront.
Pauline Donkin, Head of Individual Giving and Supporter Care at St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “Sadly many families have lost a loved one due to Covid-19 and the last year has been a particularly difficult time. Some people were not even able to say goodbye, they have faced loneliness and grief, many without support.
“At Suffolk Remembers we all have one thing that unites us, the loss of someone we loved whether that is a member of our family or a dear friend. At Suffolk Remembers you won’t be alone, the candle you light to remember someone special will shine brightly along with the other 5,000 memories on the night as the community joins together.
“As ever, the safety of our supporters is paramount and we will host Suffolk Remembers in accordance with government guidance and announce full event details in the near future. In the meantime we encourage all who wish to remember a loved one to contact our team to dedicate a virtual candle in their memory.”
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, even if they have not previously been under the hospice’s care, 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.
Julian Snowling, Head of Funeral Operations for the East of England Co-op Funeral Services, said: “With many family and friends unable to say their goodbyes in the way they would have wished these past 12 months, Suffolk Remembers has never been more poignant.
“This is an incredibly special event, which we are very proud to have been able to be a part of for many years. As the candles are lit this year, it will provide an important opportunity for us to stop and reflect, remembering and celebrating the lives of those no longer with us, whilst raising funds for St Elizabeth Hospice to continue their fantastic care.”
Each dedication will also include 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.
Alongside Suffolk Remembers all who have been impacted by a bereavement are encouraged to contact the St Elizabeth Hospice LivingGrief team. The LivingGrief team are available to talk, listen and offer support to anyone affected by grief from a progressive, life-limiting illness or from Covid-19 – even if they have not previously been under the hospice’s care.
For more information about LivingGrief visit www.stelizabethhospice.org.uk/LivingGrief.