Garden House Hospice Care welcomed hundreds of supporters to celebrate the start of their festival of remembrance and pay tribute to lost loved ones.

The Letchworth-based hospice opened the gates to its garden on Sunday, November 21 for the Lights of Life Festival, which invited families to remember loved ones by dedicating a star in their memory.

The service included readings from staff, supporters and family members, and included moments of reflection accompanied by a live performance from singer Emily Cracknell.

Dawn and Karen, from the Hospice at Home Team, were among those attending, and said: "We’ve been really fortunate tonight to have the luxury of coming back from our patient visits out in the community and taking part in this wonderful service.

"It’s such a wonderful service that makes us feel so proud to be part of the hospice and do a job that we all absolutely love.

"Thank you to those who have donated and for your support. It means so much to us. We couldn’t do what we do without you. “

Carla Pilsworth, director of income generation at the hospice, said: “We were thrilled to welcome back over 300 supporters to the Hospice to stand alongside each other as neighbours, family and friends in reflection, and celebration of the lives of the people we love and miss.

"A massive thank you to our special guest speakers for their bravery, to our vendors and musical performers, to our event sponsors and of course to those who joined us in person and virtually at home."

Last year's Lights of Life campaign raised £50,000 to support families in need over Christmas, however this year the hospice is down £30,000 on its Lights of Life income target.

Carla added: “It is a really tough climate with the cancellation of fundraising events and people still nervous about their own finances.

"This is having a big impact on donations from individuals, businesses and grant givers. We also have no safety net of support from the Government in regards to additional funding this year."

To find out how you can support the hospice go to or call 01462 679540.