Gateshead Health hosts inaugural Light up a Life Ceremony supported by QE Charitable Funds

Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, in association with QE Charitable Funds, hosted its first-ever Light up a Life ceremony on 30 November. The event celebrated loved ones during the festive season with our tree of stars.

A photo of a lit up festive tree with a heart in front reading "I love Queen Elizabeth Hospital"
The tree of stars

The stars decorate our tree outside the main entrance to Queen Elizabeth (QE) Hospital Gateshead as a tribute to people who are no longer with us, while the lights remind us to celebrate how they lit up our lives – which led to our Light up a Life event. Over 100 stars were bought, raising nearly £500 for QE Charitable Funds.

During the remembrance service, the names on the memory stars were read out, and were featured in an online tribute video.

Group photo of the Trust choir singing
The Trust choir

The evening also featured speeches from Trudie Davies, Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust’s Chief Executive, Kris Mackenzie, executive lead for the charity and Group Director of Finance and Digital. Trust chaplains Gareth Rowlands and Paul Nicol led the service. The Trust’s choir provided uplifting music to help add to the celebratory atmosphere.

Group photo of Trudie Davies, Lewis Miley, Jamie Miley and Kris Mackenzie. in front of the tree of stars.
Trudie Davies, Lewis Miley, Jamie Miley and Kris Mackenzie.

The lights in the tree were switched on by Trudie Davies, Kris Mackenzie and Newcastle United midfielders Lewis and Jamie Miley. Lewis has previously provided support to the charity,

After the ceremony, attendees were invited into the hospital to enjoy refreshments provided by Cake Box and QE Facilities Catering. They also had the opportunity to admire a photographic display by Gateshead Camera Club and the wooden Angel of the North style statue, which received much attention in the days leading up to the event.

Wide angled photo of a wooden angel with photo frames attached
The angel photo gallery

Kris Mackenzie, executive lead for the charity and Group Director of Finance and Digital said: “Light up a Life is a beautiful way for our community to come together, remember our loved ones, and celebrate their lives. The heartfelt support shown by attendees and the funds raised for QE Charitable Funds is inspiring.

Photo of light up reindeer decorations.
Some of the decorations at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital

“Thank you to everyone who donated and supported our charity and the support of our event partners. We are very grateful and look forward to being able to enhance our support to patients, staff, relatives and other loved ones in the Gateshead community.”

The Light up a Life ceremony would not have been possible without the generous support of the event’s partners, including Cake Box, Tiny Acorn, Gateshead Camera Club, Square Peg, Birtley Rotary Club, Chester-Le-Street Rotary Club, QE Facilities Catering and Estates, Tyne and Wear Access, and Co-Op Funeral Care.

A close up photo of hands holding an order of service booklet
Order of service