Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People is urging people in Leicestershire to Light up a Life this Christmas and remember loved ones with a light on its Christmas tree and a very special star.

The Light up a Life campaign – now in its seventh year – invites Leicestershire residents to celebrate the memory of a loved one who has sadly passed away or acknowledge a special person by dedicating a light on Rainbows’ Christmas tree to that person. For each dedication those donating will receive a special silver star that can be personalised and hang on their own Christmas tree at home.

Dedications will also feature in Rainbows’ Book of Lights, and in addition Light up a Life pin badges can be purchased at just £2.

Emma Lovegrove, Community Fundraiser for Leicestershire, said: “Christmas is the time of the year when people’s thoughts turn to those they’ve lost or those that mean a lot to them. The Light up a Life campaign enables people to acknowledge those special to them whilst donating to Rainbows at the same time.”

One Leicestershire family whose life has been lit up by Rainbows is Kelly Bullous’. Kelly’s daughter, Nevaeh, was born in September 2009, and spent her short life at Rainbows before she sadly died just six weeks later.

Kelly, 23, from East Leake, said: “When Nevaeh was born with severe brain damage, we were told she wouldn’t live for more than a few days. Her life support machine was switched off when she was just a day old but against the odds she stayed with us.

“The doctors gave us the option of taking Nevaeh home with us or going to Rainbows.

“I am thankful to this day that we chose Rainbows and I believe that without the care and support we received there, we would not have got the six weeks and five days that we had with Nevaeh. The staff at Rainbows made our time with her as special as possible and for that I’ll always be grateful.”

Kelly continued: “Without the generous donations from the public through campaigns such as ‘Light up a Life’, Rainbows could not offer the individual care and attention that each child deserves when they need it.”

Rainbows has been there for Kelly every step of the way, and was even there for her recently when she got engaged to her partner Ben Kelly.

She said: “Getting engaged to Ben at Rainbows’ recent Festival of Fireworks was a complete surprise and I really felt Nevaeh was there with me – I couldn’t imagine a more fitting place for Ben to propose.”

For further information on Rainbows’ Light up a Life campaign, please contact Emma Lovegrove at Rainbows on 01509 638006 or [email protected].