'This time of year can be triggering for many, and sometimes people come to us for one-off counselling sessions. For families who are bereaved, we look at ways in which they can incorporate their loved one into the festivities. That might be something as simple as toasting them with a glass of Bucks Fizz in the morning or going to visit somewhere and taking some flowers. Last year, we made baubles with the young people we support through The Seahorse Project.
'For those we support at the end of life, what’s really important is making memories. For example, there might be a film the family can watch together, so in years to come they can look back and remember the
‘Working over the holiday period can be really moving. An absolute stand-out moment for me was the first ever Lights of Love I attended when the hospice was in Mill Gap Road. It was bitterly cold and gently snowing, everyone was singing, and the tree was lit up. There was an overwhelming feeling of love.
‘The way I celebrate Christmas has changed dramatically in recent years following the death of both my parents. Traditions have changed, but now we’re making new ones, and what has brought joy back to this time of year is having two new grandchildren. I still make the gravy the same way my mum made it, so she’s still part of Christmas Day.'