Carol’s poignant reason for supporting Hospice

The Northern Ireland Hospice torchlight procession. Photograph:Stephen Hamilton
The Northern Ireland Hospice torchlight procession. Photograph:Stephen Hamilton

A local woman whose husband passed away at the Northern Ireland Hospice is urging people to support the this year’s Lights to Remember campaign.

Carol Shappell, together with the rest of her family, has been a volunteer with the charity since her husband Sean passed away five years ago,

She is encouraging people to support the charity and remember their loved ones by sponsoring a light on the Hospice Christmas tree.

Now entering its twenty-first year, the ‘Lights to Remember’ appeal hopes to raise £200,000 to provide care and support to people facing the end of life over the festive period and beyond.

Lights to Remember is an opportunity for families to come together, reflect and shine a light in memory of their loved one.

On Thursday December 17, following a short service at Dominican College, Fortwilliam, a torchlight procession will proceed to the new Hospice building on Somerton Road, where the Christmas lights will officially be switched on. As construction work is not quite finished yet, the service will take place outside on Somerton Road.

“The care Sean received was fantastic,” said Carol. “There are so many different people who do different jobs but they are all very friendly.

“Sean was an artist and before he died he held a fundraiser, selling his work and raised £8000 for the charity. I want to keep up that good work.

“My son also held a football fundraiser, which raised £1700 for NI Hospice and we hope that will become an annual event,

“Every little bit helps and I would encourage people to do whatever they can to support the charity.”

Local Community Fundraiser, Deirdre Melly works in the Lisburn area and knows the difference that Hospice care can make. “In Northern Ireland 1 in 3 people are touched by the care and support they receive from Northern Ireland Hospice,” she explained.

“This is only made possible by the generosity of the public in supporting appeals such as Lights to Remember.

“This year many people will be spending the festive season missing a loved one.

“Sponsoring a light on the Hospice tree is a special way to remember them whilst helping to provide care to local adults living with a terminal illness. Every donation, big or small, to sponsor a light goes a long way.

“A donation of just £30 could help pay for an hour of Hospice care.”

Anyone wishing to sponsor a light and help thousands of families across Northern Ireland can make a donation by calling 028 9077 7123 or visiting