RESIDENTS have two opportunities to pay festive tribute to loved ones this Christmas.
A vital town charity and a funeral service have both set up remembrance trees.
The festive trees are decorated with loving notes of remembrance and happy memories of years gone by.
Mason and Martin Funeral Service places its tree in its reception area, in Park Road, Hartlepool, at the start of December every year and by Christmas the tree is full of tribute stars left by thoughtful town residents.
Hartlepool & District Hospice has also set up eight trees in the town’s Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, allowing shoppers a moment to remember loved ones.
For a donation of just £1, people can leave a tribute tag on the hospice trees.
And in just two weeks since they were erected in the shopping centre, a staggering £2,000 has already been raised for the Wells Avenue facility.
Janice Forbes, the hospice’s community fundraiser, said: “The remembrance trees are an important part of Christmas fundraising for the hospice.
“And they provide a nice opportunity for shoppers to leave a message for loved ones who are no longer with us but are often in our thoughts at this time of the year.”
The hospice’s remembrance trees raise around £7,000 for the charity every year, which would not be possible without the dedication of the volunteers who give up their time each day.
Janice added: “Our fantastic volunteers man the trees every day and we would like to say a big thanks to the shopping centre as well for letting us put our remembrance trees up every year.”
It is free of charge for people to leave a loving note in memory of a loved one at Mason and Martin Funeral Service.
Julia Masshedar, funeral service arranger, said: “Our tree is for all of the members of the public to remember their loved ones, not just those who we have done funerals for.
“Residents can come and place a star on the tree and a message for a loved one just so they feel like they have done something for them at Christmas time.”
The funeral home is open Monday to Friday, from 9am to 4.30pm.
The funeral service is also holding a festive memorial service at St Paul’s Church, in Grange Road, Hartlepool, on Saturday, December 14, at 10.30am.
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