Page added on November 29, 2012
By Rebecca Smith-Dawkins
A MEMORY tree where people can write messages on a leaf to remember their loved ones has been created by the charity LOROS.
LOROS, which provides palliative and end of life care and support for patients and their families in Leicestershire and Rutland, worked with local artist Liam Hadjipetrou to create the permanent wooden structure which was put up at the start of October.
The tree was first introduced at one of the three thanksgiving and remembrance services the charity holds a year, where relatives of patients who have died at the hospice are invited to attend.
Helen Newman, co-ordinator of the chaplain at the hospice, said: “We have tried different things before. We used to have a big board of butterflies but the tree was something that seemed a bit more permanent and it feels a bit more solid.”
The wooden structure, which is made up of three different trees carved together, had its branches covered with over 150 specially designed leaves containing messages for relatives during the first weekend it was put in the prayer room.
Helen added: “We have had a lot of positive feedback and people have said they found it very helpful to write messages to loved ones.
“I think these things can be very good because having a ritual can be very helpful in the process of grieving. We have had family members, staff and children all using the tree.”
Artist Liam Hadjipetrou, who designed the tree, said: “It is a real honour to work with LOROS. It was great to be asked to do it and it was probably one of the most difficult pieces of work to do because there was so much emotion involved.”
The money for the memory tree was raised by Andrew Martin, part of the chaplaincy team at LOROS, who completed a sponsored cycle from his home in Measham to work every day during August – a total of 800 miles.
Andrew said: “I would like to thank all those who sponsored me; it is very moving to see the tree with so many leaves and messages on it. Several relatives have said how helpful and therapeutic they have found the tree”.
Donations to the hospice can be made a number of ways by going to www.loros.com