A TREE of remembrance to honour lost loved ones at Christmas has been lit at a garden centre in East Yorkshire.
Staff at Sandhill Garden Centre, on Wyton Road, Preston, gathered to mark the launch of their memory tree, which will raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care.
Organiser Maria Hardy said customers are encouraged to leave a heartfelt Christmas message for deceased friends or relatives.
?It gives people a chance to remember the loved ones they have lost and honour their memory,? she said.
?By making a donation to Marie Curie, people can also help families and individuals who are going through a tough time.
?We hope it will raise a lot of money and awareness during the weeks it is on display here.?
The tree is lit with dozens of coloured lights and visitors can add their yellow or blue Marie Curie Christmas bauble to the tree for a small donation to the charity.
Natalie Atherley, community fundraiser for Marie Curie, said the event was vital to ensuring that dying people in East Yorkshire had access to the best home care at Christmas.
?Events like this are really important to the charity,? said Miss Atherley.
?All the money raised will directly go to funding Marie Curie nursing care for terminally ill patients.
?If there are people suffering from a terminal illness this Christmas, then Marie Curie will provide nurses to stay with them through the night so they can be safely at home instead of in hospital.
?The best part is that any money donated to the charity in East Yorkshire will go to helping families in East Yorkshire.?
Ms Hardy agreed that the charity provides a crucial service for terminally ill people.
She said: ?For every ?20 we raise with this event, it will provide an hour of nursing care for those in need.
?I think we?ll raise a lot of money between now and Christmas.
?Judging by the turn-out today and how many people have already placed a bauble on the tree, I think it will prove to be very popular.?
The launch event featured entertainment from Trinity Steel Band, a tombola to raise further funds and songs from the Hull Ladies Choir.
Chris Lake, chair of Hull Ladies Choir, said she was thrilled to be involved in the event.
?We always like to support the work of local charities, so when I received the call to take part I didn?t hesitate,? she said.
?It?s been a great day. There has been a great atmosphere and we had a very nice audience come along to support us.?