November 21, 2013 11:00 ET

Lights to Remember: HomeServe Staff Provide Centerpiece for Marie Curie Christmas Remembrance Evening on 1 December

WALSALL, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwired - Nov. 21, 2013) - The light of remembrance will be shining brightly at the new Marie Curie Hospice, West Midlands this Christmas, thanks to a generous donation from HomeServe's employees.

Staff donated £1,500 for a 15ft tall Christmas tree to be planted on hospice grounds, which will form the centerpiece of the Marie Cure's 'Lights to Remember' service for years to come. This is the first year the annual service will be held at the new hospice, with it taking place at 4pm on Sunday December 1st.

The service provides a wonderful opportunity for the local community to gather together and dedicate a light on the Christmas tree in memory of a loved one. By sponsoring a light, you will also help by providing vital care for people with terminal illnesses. The service is to be officiated by Hospice chaplain Charlie Radburn, before Solihull mayor, Councillor Joe Tildesley, officially switches on the Christmas tree lights and initiates a minute of silence.

Every one of all faiths is welcome to come along to the 'Lights to Remember' service, enabling family and friends to celebrate the festive season, while remembering the life of someone special.

The evening is an important fundraiser for the charity and will include carol singing, a brass band and mince pies with all proceeds from the event going to support terminally ill patients and their families.

HomeServe Membership CEO Jonathan King said: "Many of us at HomeServe know how tough this time of year can be for Marie Curie patients and their families, from both a professional perspective - as we offer patients a free home emergency insurance policy and for too many of us, from a personal perspective. But this is also the time of year that Marie Curie can make the biggest difference and that is one reason we are proud to support their work in every way we can.

Hospice manager, Liz Cottier added: "Christmas can be a particularly difficult period for those who have lost loved ones. The service provides a unique opportunity for members of our community to come together and remember, in a beautiful Christmas setting. We are thankful to HomeServe staff whose support throughout the year has helped our activities immeasurably."

The Christmas tree is an extension on previous HomeServe activities at The West Midlands Hospice, where HomeServe's donation of £50,000 aided the construction of the site. This summer, 50 staff members also carried out a Gardening Volunteering Week at the hospice to help improve the grounds for patients and their families - and donated £5,000 for materials such as soil improver, compost and plants.

Marie Curie has been HomeServe's national charity partner since 2010. Having originally pledged to donate £1 million over the course of three years, HomeServe smashed the target last September and has now donated more than £1.35 million. That includes £540,000 in cash donations - enough to fund the equivalent of 28 Marie Curie nurses for a year - and more than £818,000 via its Marie Curie Patient Policy, which gives Marie Curie patients and their families peace of mind with free help for home emergencies.

The company has extended its partnership with the charity until March 2014.

About Lights to Remember

Activities commence at 4pm on Sunday December 1st at the Marie Curie Hospice, West Midlands, Marsh Lane, Solihull, B91 2PQ.

Those wishing to dedicate a light should contact Marie Curie on 012 1703 3713.

About HomeServe

With over 2,700 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, HomeServe is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network.

HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access vetted tradesmen who are qualified to carry out hundreds of different jobs around the home.

HomeServe also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating.

About Marie Curie Cancer Care

Marie Curie Cancer Care is one of the UK's largest charities. Employing more than 2,700 nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals, it provided care to more than 35,000 terminally ill patients in the community and in its nine hospices last year and is the largest provider of hospice beds outside the NHS.


Around 70 per cent of the charity's income comes from the generous support of thousands of individuals, membership organisations and businesses, with the balance of our funds coming from the NHS.

Marie Curie nurses

The charity is best known for its network of Marie Curie nurses working in the community to provide end of life care, totally free for patients in their own homes.

The right to die in place of choice

Research shows around 63 per cent of people would like to die at home if they had a terminal illness, with a sizeable minority opting for hospice care. However, more than 50 per cent of cancer deaths still occur in hospital, the place people say they would least like to be. Since 2004 Marie Curie Cancer Care has been campaigning for more patients to be able to make the choice to be cared for and die in their place of choice.

Charity Partnership

HomeServe's support was recently recognised by being finalised in the British Charity Awards and the Institute of Fundraising Awards.

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