Day of Reflection

Thursday 25 Mar 2021
Day of Reflection
A number of Yorkshire based hospices took part in a special lighting ceremony on Tuesday 23 March to mark the one-year anniversary of the first COVID-19 lockdown.

A Day of Reflection was held across the UK, with a minute’s silence and a national doorstep vigil due to take place to mark the anniversary of the UK’s first coronavirus lockdown.
Hospices across Yorkshire and beyond marked the occasion by lighting up their gardens at 8pm, joining hundreds of thousands of people from across their local communities to reflect on the challenges faced and the loss we have all felt over the past year.

Overgate Hospice, The Kirkwood, The Prince of Wales Hospice, Wakefield Hospice and St. Leonard’s Hospice in York all took part, joining with local people to reflect on the impact the pandemic has had across our region. It was also a unique chance to recognise and pay tribute to those who have died or been bereaved through coronavirus.

Marie Sullivan, Deputy Director of Clinical Services here at Overgate Hospice said: “As we mark the first anniversary of the first lockdown, at Overgate we wanted to take some time to recognise the impact the pandemic has had on our community.

Like many charities, Overgate has had an incredibly difficult year but last March we turned to our community to help us through and the response from you has been nothing short of phenomenal and we want to say thank you. Your support has meant that we have been able to continue to care for your friends, families and neighbours when they needed us most, shielding them from the chaos outside. On their behalf we want to offer our heartfelt thanks.

We know that as a community we have all faced huge challenges in the last twelve months, both professionally and personally, and we know so many have lost loved ones in the most difficult circumstances.
On Tuesday evening we will join together with colleagues in other hospices around Yorkshire to remember these people and reflect on this tough year. As we light our Light Up a Life tree here in the Hospice grounds we hope it stands as a beacon of hope, that brighter days are ahead.”

Michael Crowther, Chief Executive with The Kirkwood, which provide care for anyone affected by any life limiting illness across Kirklees, said: “The coronavirus has deeply affected all our lives, and our livelihoods, this year. We have been asked to remain distant from those we care about and to make huge sacrifices. Many of us are grieving for someone close to us, whether a family member, a friend or a colleague.
“Every year, we support hundreds of people in our community who have been bereaved and need help. During this period of national crisis, we have stepped in to offer our services to those bereaved through coronavirus too, so we are lighting the tree in our gardens to remember and pay tribute to all those who have died or been bereaved by coronavirus.”

“It’s also a chance to come together as one community, not just here in Kirklees, but across Yorkshire, to celebrate out resilience and look to the future with hope.”

Dr Emma Lowe, Medical Director at Wakefield Hospice, who are also taking part, said: “We want to reflect and remember the lives lost during the last year whatever the circumstances and pay our respects to those who received end of life care at our hospice, their families and friends.”

Jo Schofield, Head of Clinical Services at The Prince of Wales Hospice said: “We will be remembering those we have lost, both at the Hospice and in our community, and of course those they have sadly left behind. We will be shining a light for everyone the pandemic has affected and in hope that there’s a brighter future ahead.”
The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge effect on hospices’ ability to provide community nursing, In-Patient care and wellbeing services, with many having to adapt the way they work overnight to ensure those in need to continue to get the help they need. The Day of Reflection presents an opportunity to think about how hospices have overcome difficulties to ensure continuity of care.

Jo Schofield said: “The National Day of Reflection gives us the opportunity to look back on all we have achieved and overcome together in the past year. Our frontline doctors and nurses have persevered through these challenging times, not only providing excellent care, but offering a much needed hand to hold for our patients.
Michael Crowther added: “Local hospices have played a vital part in the response to coronavirus over the past 12-months, standing side by side with their colleagues in the NHS to ensure that the most vulnerable in our communities continue to receive the very best care. I am so proud of the incredible efforts our teams have made to meet the needs of our local community.
 
Dr Emma Lowe, Medical Director at Wakefield Hospice said: “It is an opportunity for us to thank our incredible staff who have served on the front line throughout the pandemic.”
It’s been a challenging year financially for hospices with major fundraising events cancelled, shops closed for much of the year and supporters not able to fundraise in the same way.

“Our community has stepped up to fill the funding shortfall from the cancellation of events and the closure of our shops. The lengths they have gone to and challenges they have undertaken to fundraise is heart-warming and humbling.” said Jo Schofield.
 
Although there are difficult times ahead, the Day of Reflection gives us all a chance to pause and reflect on the past 12 months, remember those we’ve lost and the lives which have been changed forever, and look forward to the promise of brighter times ahead.
 
Trees in each of the hospice’s gardens shined brightly throughout the night in solidarity for those bereaved during the coronavirus pandemic and as a beacon of hope a brighter future.

If you’d like to find out more about your local hospices here are all the details you’ll need to find them online:
The Kirkwood: www.thekirkwood.org.uk
Wakefield Hospice: www.wakefieldhospice.org
The Prince of Wales Hospice: www.pwh.org.uk
St. Leonard’s Hospice: www.stleonardshospice.org.uk