Patients, friends and family gathered at Sobell House hospice to remember their loved ones warmly at the Lights of Love ceremony.

Sobell House in Headington looks after people with life-limiting conditions and on Saturday they remembered those they have lost.

The annual event saw about 500 people attending for poems, carol singing and a quiet note of reflection before the tree was lit.

The tree will now remain lit until January 5. There was also books of remembrance and dedication slips which will be put up on display in the chapel for a year.


The guests of the Lights of Love event were invited to write a note to a lost one and hang it in reception with the fairy lights as a dedication.

Cara Waller, events manager at Sobell House, said: “It’s really emotional but lovely it feels like the local community coming together, a lot of local businesses have helped us with sponsorship or donating a tree and putting the lights on the tree. But also, when everybody gathers in the day it just feels like a beautiful community gathering and everybody’s coming together and just remembering some very special people.”

Read also: PICTURES: 1,500 Santas at H&D Frosty 5K 2019

Ray Farmer, 77 volunteers at the reception of Sobell House and took part in the ceremony.

He said: “My lovely wife Sheila passed away in here almost 11 years ago and in February it will be 11 years. I started volunteering almost eight years ago and it is just a big part of my life now Sobell House.

"I volunteer here on the reception which is never as busy as it is today."


Mr Farmer added: “The event was lovely and I was asked to read a poem today as well and I’ve had a few nice comments.

"The event is not quite so emotional as it was at the beginning because I’ve been coming every year since Sheila died.

"It’s like a big family here as well, everybody just supports each other and it’s just lovely.”

Everyone who gathered at Sobell House, from doctors to patients and family members, was there to write a note or to join in singing carols.

Read also: New Witney guide book aims to showcase places to stay

Prof Bee Wee, is a doctor and clinical lead at Sobell House and at the event.

She said: “Today’s an annual event and its hugely significant for people. "For some people they come every year this is their touch point with the hospice, which was a really important thing in their life so this is an annual opportunity.

"For some people this is the first year since the death of their loved one, and therefore coming here and coming through that front door can be really hard for some people.”


The hospice looks after people with life-limiting conditions, and provides hospice beds as well as a day service, clinics and day therapy.

The annual event has been running for over a decade and the public can put in a digital Light of Love on the Sobell House website by visiting