A team of local engineers, tree-cutters and linesmen from Southern Electric Power Distribution’s (SEPD) Cosham depot took a day out from their regular jobs and helped make a difference to The Rowans Hospice in Waterlooville.
Every year the hospice hosts a memorial service for relatives and friends of patients who were known to them in the last year.
The centrepiece of this service is the switching on of the Tree of Lights.
SEPD has helped with the installation and maintenance of the lights for the past 10 years, and when the lights were checked earlier this year it was clear to everyone that the time had come to purchase a new set.
The SEPD team was able to spend the day at The Rowans Hospice thanks to the electricity distributor’s Be The Difference scheme, which gives every member of staff a day away from their usual place of work to help support a charity or good cause in the local community.
Cathy Pittick, family services administrator at The Rowans Hospice, is full of praise for the SEPD team’s hard work: ‘I can’t thank the team enough for giving up their time to help us. They were all so cheerful and helpful. Nothing was too much trouble and they just wanted to get it right for us, which we greatly appreciated.
‘The tree looks wonderful and I know how much it will mean to the families when we turn the lights on during the memorial service.
‘It has a really powerful message for them, as they identify the lights with the loved ones they have lost.
‘We keep the lights on each night throughout the Christmas period and they can be seen from far and wide, even as far as Portsdown Hill.’
Manolis Sindihakis, team manager for the local linesmen, added: ‘I’ve personally been involved with the annual lighting event for the past six years, but our depot’s links with The Rowans Hospice stretch back even further.
‘The hospice means a great deal to a lot of people in the area, and we’re delighted to be able to offer our skills and equipment to help with such a special event.’