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Take a moment to remember loved ones; YOUR VIEW A chance for local charities, voluntary organisations and advice groups to reach our readers TODAY: Maureen Thompson, chief executive of Teesside Hospice.

THE run up to Christmas is always a hectic affair with late night shopping, writing cards and wrapping presents!

It can all get so busy, however I would like to ask the people of Teesside to take a moment out of their busy schedules and visit the Teesside Hospice Tree of Life.

Established in 1996, the Tree of Life based in the Cleveland Centre, Middlesbrough, has become a tradition for many local families providing peace and comfort at Christmas time.

The concept of the tree is simple - place a dedication as a special way to remember your loved ones at Christmas whilst helping to raise vital funds for Teesside Hospice.

Every dedication made is lovingly placed on the tree which shines brightly throughout the Christmas period. In exchange for dedications we ask for a donation to help Teesside Hospice continue to provide specialist palliative care to local people who need it most.

Alex Phillips, a Teesside Hospice volunteer and longstanding supporter, places a special dedication every year for her Father. She says :"Christmas can be a difficult time of year as lost loved ones are missed more than ever. "Making a dedication on the Tree of Life is a way for my mum and I to remember my dad and support the hospice that helped us.

"I will be encouraging everyone to pay a visit and make a dedication to help raise as much as possible."

Thousands of dedications like Alex's are made every year, and it is overwhelming to see the tree and all the love it represents.

You can place your dedication by visiting the principle Tree of Life at the Cleveland Centre or at the following venues: Teesside Crematorium in the Chapel of Remembrance, Stockton Garden Centre and all Teesside Hospice shops throughout the area.

Every year, all dedications made are taken to St Barnabas Church, Linthorpe Village, where our annual Tree of Life Blessing Service takes place.

I warmly invite all supporters of the campaign to join us at 7pm on Monday, December 23, for this year's service.

Thank you to The Co-operative Funeralcare who have kindly supported the Tree of Life. On behalf of the hospice I wish our supporters and the people of Teesside peace and comfort this Christmas time.
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Nov 26, 2013
Words:376
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