Whilst everyone has a unique response to death and everyone’s grief journey looks very different, there is one thing a lot of people have in common which tends to feel especially difficult at this time of year. The festive season, although a wonderful opportunity to spend time with friends and family, can be especially hard for those who have lost a loved one – and remembering that special someone can often be a very isolating experience.
That’s why this winter, St Christopher’s Hospice are inviting people from all over London and beyond to dedicate a paper chain link in memory of someone who has died; enabling each of us to come together and contribute to a community exhibition highlighting the strength and solidarity in shared experiences.
By taking part in the Linking Hearts campaign, and in exchange for a small donation, participants will not only be honouring the memory of their own loved one, but also ensuring that others in the future are able to do the same.
The longer the chain, the more chance there is that St Christopher’s can continue to provide the highest standard of care for people at the end of life, as they have been doing for the past 50 years. Over 60,000 people have benefited from the charities support over the last few decades alone, and their staff and volunteers are very much committed to providing the same critical services for many more to come. The creation of a record-challenging chain of 60 or even 600 metres in length would be a wonderful way of recognising this important work, and is also set to provide a warm and welcoming space in which to reflect on your very own nearest and dearest, and take comfort from being alongside others who know exactly what you’re going through.
St Christopher’s is also inviting anyone with spare time during the remainder of November to go on down to the hospice and help create the chains themselves, ready to be hung up at the beginning of December for the public to visit and view. Both the Sydenham and Orpington teams are looking for as many volunteers to sign up for as many sessions as possible, and to be part of something truly heart-warming over the festive period.
The finished chains themselves will then be on display at both sites, with each site being open from 4pm every day between Monday 6 December and Sunday 12 December.
To make a donation, dedicate a link and/or book a viewing slot, please visit our website here.
Everybody of any background, location or faith is also welcome to attend the St Christopher’s annual remembrance service at 4pm on Sunday 5 December, which this year will be streamed virtually via Zoom. Registration is open now, and attendance is free of charge.