Offers of help flood in after hospice’s tree vandalised in Poole

Bournemouth Echo: STAR TEAM: Fundraising Manager Maria Tidy, Stephen Bath and Lucy Cooper STAR TEAM: Fundraising Manager Maria Tidy, Stephen Bath and Lucy Cooper

THE response to the vandalised hospice Christmas tree has been overwhelming with offers of lights and help flooding in.

The Daily Echo reported on Thursday how lights had been ripped from Lewis-Manning’s tree of lights at Ashley Cross green, covered in stars of remembrance for lost loved ones.

Now it is looking better than ever, thanks to the generosity of people appalled at the damage caused, and has brought back a smile to the faces of those involved.

Elizabeth Purcell, chief executive officer at Lewis-Manning, said: “I didn’t expect anything else from those wonderful people who support Lewis-Manning Hospice in the community. They, like us, were deeply saddened by the damage to the beautiful ‘tree of lights’ on Ashley Green.

“Only a couple of weeks ago we invited Elaine, a Lewis-Manning Hospice patient, to light them for us, and people put up stars to remember those who have died.

“This is more than just a tree, it is a shining beacon of hope and remembrance. Thank you to everyone who has helped us put the tree back together for all those who have lost someone they have loved”.

The Royal Exeter Hotel at Bournemouth approached Lucy Cooper, president of Poole Chamber of Trade and Commerce who sponsored the event, with an offer of 300 bulbs.

B&Q has donated a further 500 bulbs, brought in by patient Elaine Sibley who switched the lights on at the original ceremony, electrician Stephen Bath managing director of Test Inspect offered to do the wiring free.

And to top it off the 16ft fir tree is now crowned with a glorious star, courtesy of Chester Pearce Funeral and Bereavement Services.

Stephen Bath said: “It’s lovely that so much goodwill has come out of the situation.”

And Harry Brewer of the Royal Exeter Hotel said: “As a resident of Poole I am only too happy to support a community based project in the area. It is nice to see locals pull together in support.”

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