Sheffield's annual Festival of Light switch on will be streamed live

An annual fundraiser will still go ahead, despite social distancing guidelines, by the power of the internet.

Friday, 16th October 2020, 4:45 pm

The 2020 Festival of Light, which or many people is the real start of the festive season, will have a different feel as St Luke’s Hospice continues its vital work and follows current COVID-19 safety measures.

As always, the hospice garden will be illuminated by thousands of lights - all shining in memory of loved ones - when the 23rd event, sponsored by Henry Boot, begins on December 6.

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St Luke's Hospice garden lit up

But this year, for the first time, the public will not be able to attend the launch as the hospice follows government guidance on large gatherings.

Instead, the switch on ceremony - performed by BBC Radio Sheffield host and keen St Luke’s supporter Paulette Edwards - will be for patients only, though it will be streamed live to supporters via the St Luke’s Facebook page.

And the many hundreds of people who would normally attend are being asked to show their support by hosting their own Festival of Light ceremony in their own homes.

“This year, we are facing Festival of Light in exceptional circumstances with the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic,” said head of fundraising Joasia Lesniak.

“Although we’re not able to gather together this year, we can all still come together in the Festival of Light spirit. We would love our supporters to remember their loved ones by lighting a candle at home on Sunday December 6 at 6pm so that across Sheffield, we are sharing a special moment together, but apart.

"To make the moment special, you may wish to turn off the lights, put on some special music and share in a moment of reflection. Whilst the St Luke’s gardens will be peaceful and quiet this year, each of you will have lit a candle at home, at the same time, and be connected to others who have shared experiences.”

St Luke’s has continued to care for patients and their families throughout the pandemic, visiting up to 450 patients in their own homes and caring for patients around the clock in the St Luke’s In Patient Centre.


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