Cheddar Tree of Light for treasured memories
Christmas is often a time of reflection, and Cheddar Vale Lions Club are inviting you to remember loved ones by sponsoring the ‘Tree of Light’.
Last year, the Cheddar Lions began a new project put forward by Glyn John.
The ‘Tree of Light’ enables you to remember your loved ones by sponsoring a light on the tree, which will be placed outside Cheddar Garden Centre.
Mr John said: “We started this off in Tavistock in Devon 13 years ago, and that tree has raised in excess of £60,000.
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"It was inspired by my mother, who started sponsoring one in Shropshire. It was in a different format but a similar sort of thing.
“We put our own angle on it. Whereas they just sent out a card, which sponsors fill in themselves that could be hung on their own trees, we get them to sponsor a light on the tree that everyone can see.
“We send the individual a card in which I’ve handwritten the name of the person who is being remembered. The sponsors are invited along to the lighting up ceremony in December.
“All the money raised by the Cheddar ‘Tree of Light’ will go back into the Cheddar Valley community.
He continued: “So many people these days don’t have anywhere which can be a focal point for them to go and remember their loved ones.
“Ashes are scattered which means there isn’t always a place to go or if there is a place, you may not be able to get there very often as it’s too far away.
“You could see people in Tavistock standing and looking at the tree, reflecting on the past.
“Christmas is a time when you get together as a family. Our parents have been gone for some years and yes, you do think about ‘what if they were here’ or ‘what if they could share in this moment’.
“It’s something you do think about and you do wish they were there to share in their grandchildren’s successes. This is a way to remember them.
“The response in Tavistock and the Swansea Valley, where we have also set up four trees, have received such an incredible amount of support. In Cheddar last year, it was amazing how many younger parents and younger people sponsored.
“The money raised makes a difference. If we have a request, for a piece of equipment for a disabled child or anything, we can consider it and there is a bit of money there to help where it can.”
The tree will be lit on Thursday, December 6, at 6.30pm. A short dedication service with Christmas carols will take place and the garden centre will remain open.
The minimum donation asked is £5, and you can sponsor a light in memory of a loved one by downloading a form.
To download the Tree of Life form right click here and select Save Link As