St Barnabas has virtual plans to ‘Light Up a Life’

St Barnabas Hospice’s hugely popular Light Up a Life campaign is back for 2020 and has been given a virtual twist to keep in line with ongoing coronavirus guidance.

Richard Pullen holding a picture of fiancée Rachael, who died aged 24

Usually, the hospice would host countywide Light Up a Life celebrations, as well as its famous torchlight procession through Lincoln. However, this won’t be possible in 2020 due to the ongoing pandemic.

This year, the hospice will bring everyone together with one extra-special Light Up a Life celebration on Tuesday, November 24.

Join them at 7pm from the comfort and safety of your home to witness their first ever virtual Light Up a Life service and torchlight procession on the charity’s website.

Light Up a Life is a special time for families and friends to join together and remember loved ones.

The virtual service will feature touching readings, music and time for quiet reflection.

Candles will be lit in remembrance of loved ones, and the hospice invites viewers to do the same at home.

Light Up a Life is for everyone who has experienced loss, not just those who have been affected by hospice care.

The virtual torchlight procession will follow on from the service, featuring Finlay from the RAF Waddington Pipe Band playing ‘Amazing Grace’ outside the hospice.

Richard Pullen, long-standing St Barnabas supporter and Light Up a Life ambassador, will be carrying a torch for his fiancée, Rachael, who sadly died aged 24.

Anita Willoughby, Clinical Services manager for St Barnabas, will represent the St Barnabas nurses as she carries a torch in memory of all the patients cared for over the past 38 years.

Richard and Anita will walk the procession route to the west front of the cathedral, where Canon John Patrick will bless the Tree of Life as it is lit.

Each light on the tree will symbolise a loved one who is being remembered this year through the campaign.

Richard has shared the story about how St Barnabas cared for Rachael and why he is supporting the campaign.

He said: “Rachael was just 24 when doctors told her she had months to live.

“We had only got engaged the year before and moved into our first house, so the news hit us like a torpedo.

“Watching Rachael go downhill over the next few months simply broke my heart. Her confidence was shattered, and I felt helpless.

“This was when St Barnabas Hospice stepped in.

“Rachael moved into the hospice in Lincoln at a point when we thought she had just days to live.

“However, over the next few weeks my Rachael came back to me – pain management, physiotherapy and specialist care all helping to bring her confidence back.

“With St Barnabas’s help, Rachael reached a point where she could go on day trips and then eventually come home for a few days.

“Because of their incredible Hospice at Home team, Rachael had all the equipment she needed and was at home for my birthday.

“Sadly, Rachael suffered a stroke whilst at home and the hospice arranged for her to go straight back in for end-of-life care. The cancer was in her brain and the end was near. Rachael passed away on February 11, 2013.

“I will be eternally grateful to everyone at St Barnabas Hospice who supported us through Rachael’s illness. Even after her death they were there for me and Rachael’s family – nothing was ever too much trouble.

“Please join me in shining a light to remember someone special this Christmas. The world is a scary place for many right now and I know that the lights of our loved ones will give people hope for better times.”

To find out more and to dedicate a light, visit www.