Families invited to remember loved ones this Christmas

The specialist palliative care team.

Local families are once again being invited to remember their lost loved ones this Christmas by placing a dedicated bauble on Christmas trees at the James Cook University Hospital and the Friarage Hospital.

The annual campaign, jointly run by the trust’s specialist palliative care team and Our Hospitals Charity, gives people the opportunity to dedicate a ‘memorial bauble’ as a tribute to their friend or a family member who has sadly died at our hospitals.

Each bauble has a feather inside it along with a heartfelt personalised message and will be hung on Christmas trees across James Cook and Friarage.

Macmillan specialist palliative care nurse Jane Walker said: “Losing someone from your life is possibly the worst news for anyone and we all share their pain and grief during these tough times.

“We appreciate that we cannot take the pain of loss away, but we hope that enabling loved ones’ personal messages to be placed on these trees at Christmas will offer some comfort to them whilst also provide funding to continue the ongoing dragon fly scheme.”

The dragonfly project enables the hospital’s specialist palliative care team to provide memory boxes, literature and handprints to name just a few – and are given to carers and families of those who have died or are dying – and this funding is essential for the project to continue.

The memory boxes are gifted to individuals who are grieving in our hospitals and consist of books, knitted hearts, worry dolls and pocket hugs while comfort packs include essential items for patients and their friends and families on wards.

This initiative supports carers, families and friends to treasure memories of their close ones, who are sadly dying or have died in our hospitals.

Over the years, this has provided a great source of comfort to those who were mourning the death of their dear ones in our hospitals whilst helping them to relive all the memories spent together with the person.

Jane added: “This festive season, if you would like to pay a heartfelt tribute to a loved one who has died at James Cook or the Friarage, please consider dedicating a ‘memorial bauble’ on our Christmas trees for a small donation.

“Christmas is a difficult period for the bereaved and we hope that the gesture of dedicating a memorial bauble this season will provide some comfort to families and carers wishing to commemorate their beloved friend or a family member.”

You can dedicate your ‘memorial bauble’ online today:

If you would like to pay tribute to a loved one you can do this via our JustGiving page – https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/dragonflychristmastree2023

The team requests a minimum donation of £2.50 per bauble and is accepting contributions until Christmas Eve.