Families rally in Fareham to remember a loved one at hospice carol night

From left, Melanie Rouse, 36, of Hedge End, with son Alec Rouse, three, and Paula Rouse



Picture: Tom Cotterill
From left, Melanie Rouse, 36, of Hedge End, with son Alec Rouse, three, and Paula Rouse Picture: Tom Cotterill
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CANDLES were lit and carols sung as families united to remember loved ones lost.

Hundreds of people packed into Holy Trinity Church, in West Street, Fareham tonight for the annual Light up a Life carol service.

Pupils from Wellstead Primary School singing during the carol evening

Picture: Tom Cotterill

Pupils from Wellstead Primary School singing during the carol evening Picture: Tom Cotterill

The event has been running every year since 2003 and is in aid of Naomi House and Jacksplace hospices for children and young people.

Mary Ramsay, a volunteer for the hospices, has arranged each service since they started 14 years ago.

Speaking of tonight’s occasion, Mary said: ‘It’s a good time of year to be doing this event.

‘It’s the time of year when people we have lost are very close in our minds.

Members of Fareham's community choir Sing Now

Members of Fareham's community choir Sing Now

‘Nights like tonight give everyone an opportunity to come and reflect and think about the loved ones they have lost. It’s wonderful.’

The hour-long service was led by the Rev Sally Davenport.

It featured a host of festive tunes performed by schoolchildren from Wellstead Primary School, in Hedge End.

Carols and modern tunes were also sung by the Fareham-based community choir Sing Now before the congregation came together to light their candles.

Mrs Davenport said: ‘It’s wonderful to see the community coming together. This is exactly what we’re here as a church to do – bring the community together.’

Naomi House and Jacksplace care for about 440 families across Hampshire.

Hospice fundraiser Sarah Hudson said: ‘Events like tonight bring it close to home. There are 440 families that we support – some from Fareham. We need all the help we can get.’

The hospices need £8m a year to run, with only nine per cent of this coming from government.