Christmas tree lights go on tonight in Hitchin and more to come in Letchworth on Sunday with charities set to benefit

PUBLISHED: 08:13 03 December 2015 | UPDATED: 08:13 03 December 2015

Choir On Fire pictured at their first public outing at the switch-on of Hitchin's Christmas lights. They will also be appearing at the Light Up A Life event in the town centre on December 3. Picture by Keith Perry

Choir On Fire pictured at their first public outing at the switch-on of Hitchin's Christmas lights. They will also be appearing at the Light Up A Life event in the town centre on December 3. Picture by Keith Perry

© 2015 Keith Perry

Two big community events over the next few days will be giving an end of year boost to Letchworth’s Garden House Hospice.

The hospice, which provides care and support for patients and their families across North Herts and Stevenage, is marking its 25th anniversary this year.

In recent months a string of special events have marked the milestone and added extra cash to the coffers, but the two events on the timetable this week are both firmly established as part of the community calendar.

Hitchin’s Light Up A Life project is led by the Rotary Club of Hitchin Tilehouse and supports Garden House as well as two other charities – Keech Hospice Care, which provides children’s hospice services for Hertfordshire, and Marie Curie, which helps those affected by terminal conditions in their own homes.

Representatives of the charities will speak about their work and youth singing group Choir On Fire will be providing musical entertainment as the tree, on the riverside in the grounds of St Mary’s Church, is illuminated at 7pm this evening.

Choir leaders Nicky Clarke and Hannah Warne said: “Choir members feel extremely honoured to have been asked to take part in such an important event raising funds and awareness of the fantastic work done locally by these charities.”

There will be mulled wine and mince pies served in the church afterwards, and there will also be a Book of Remembrance which people can sign.

The lights. sponsored in memory of loved ones, will continue to shine out until the new year.

Lights of remembrance are also key to the annual Lights Of Life service which will be held at the hospice’s Gillison Close headquarters on Sunday from 4pm.

Chief executive Sue Plummer said: “Whether or not you have a personal connection with Garden House this offers a very special way to remember those we will be missing at this time of year.”

There will be a short outdoor service led by the hospice’s spiritual care team, and tea and coffee will be served afterwards.

The tree will remain lit until January 6 – if you’d like to support the fundraising effort you can find out more online at www.ghhospice.co.uk.

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