HAVENS Hospices is calling on the community to get involved in its annual Light Up a Life campaign to remember loved ones as Christmas approaches.

The Christmas trees at Little Havens’ Thundersley base and the newly-built Fair Havens building in Southend will be decorated with lights dedicated to lost friends and family members ahead of the festive period.

Emily Ray’s mother Susan, 57, and grandad Dennis, 83, from Rayleigh, were both cared for at the end of their lives at Fair Havens.

Emily, 29, feels taking part in the Light Up a Life campaign is the best way to pay her respects.

She said: “Christmas was always my family’s favourite time of the year together, so lighting up lights with Fair Havens is the perfect way to honour their memory.

“I consider Havens Hospices an extended part of my family as a result of the extraordinary care and kindness they showed my family towards the end of their lives.

“It brings me great comfort over the tough Christmas period to know that they are together as lights shining at the hospice.”


Susan was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and spent the last two weeks of her life at Fair Havens before passing away in February 2017.

Dennis was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2007. He spent a week at Fair Havens Hospice in 2008 to get his medication assessed and his symptoms under control. He passed away at home in February 2009.

Sharon Davies, organiser of the Havens campaign, said: “As the festive season approaches, Havens Hospices understands that it can sometimes be a difficult time, particularly for anyone who is experiencing bereavement.

“After an unprecedented and difficult year for so many because of the pandemic, this is probably the most important Light up a Life campaign in our 37 year history.”

To get involved, visit www.havenshospices.org.uk/lual.