Candles on the Beach returns to Swanage to remember loved ones

The magical sight of Swanage Beach lit up with candles to reflect, celebrate and remember loved ones is to return, organised by Lewis-Manning Hospice Care.

The successful, although sometimes emotional and poignant event took place for the first time in Swanage in December 2022 and now it’s back for autumn 2023.

Swanage resident Marion Fowler laid a candle in memory of her late husband Bill

The first Candles on the Beach was held in Swanage on Saturday 10th December 2022

First Saturday of half term

As part of the charity’s Candles in the Community series of events, Candles on the Beach in Swanage followed on from the success of Candles on the Lake at Poole Park in 2021.

This year there’s a new event to be held for the first time in Wimborne called Candles on the Green.

The event in Swanage will be held in October on the first Saturday of half term, so although not guaranteed, should be warmer than last year when it was held in December.

Candles in the Community 2023

  • Candles on the Lake – The Kitchen, Poole Park, Saturday 7th October
  • Candles on the Beach – Swanage Seafront, Saturday 21st October
  • Candles on the Green – Wimborne Minster, Saturday 18th November
Singing For Pleasure performed emotional songs for the crowds
Timothy Crabb

A community event with a performance from Singing for Pleasure

“Real energy of hope and togetherness”

Event organiser Hannah Garrett said:

“We were overwhelmed by the response from our local communities at last year’s Candles on the Lake and Candles on the Beach events, and in response to public demand, we are thrilled to launch a new location for this year – Candles on the Green in Wimborne.

“These will be unique, memorable and meaningful events where families and friends can come together to reflect, celebrate and remember loved ones.

“Whilst the events are emotional, the overriding feeling of community spirit always outweighs any sadness. The occasions provide real energy of hope and togetherness.”

Local choirs and The Salvation Army will perform at each event and include a short reflective reading, while creating a magical display of lights.

Lewis-Manning volunteers help to lay out the display on Swanage beach

The event in 2022 brought a warm glow to the chilly evening

Donations for a candle welcome

Candles on the Beach is free to attend with donations welcome to help fund Lewis-Manning’s bereavement and family support service, as well as other services giving support to patients and their families from diagnosis of a life-limiting condition, through to end of life and bereavement.

Donations for a candle can be made via the charity’s website in advance or in person on the evening of the event. Personal dedications can be written on the flameless candles

The candles are made from recyclable materials and will be safely placed so not to affect wildlife or cause damage in the area.

They will all be collected at the end of the evening by volunteers to ensure there is no litter and to be reused for subsequent years.

Candles on Swanage beach in memory of friends and family who have passed on

Pens will be provided for people to write messages on their candles

New office hub in Swanage

Since 2022 Lewis-Manning Hospice Care has brought more services to Swanage for those with life-limiting illnesses and their families.

Current services include:

  • Breathlessness services at Wareham Hospital
  • Day hospice on Tuesdays of each week at Swanage and Wareham Rugby Club in Wareham
  • Family support in patients’ homes
  • Hospice at Home providing social sits and respite sits for patients and their families

The charity opened a retail shop in Station Road in 2022 to boost income and now it has opened a new office hub at Swanage’s Methodist Church in the High Street.

This will give the charity a base in the town for its nursing and fundraising teams.

Lewis-Manning new office hub opening

Newly appointed area fundraiser for Purbeck Heidi Stearn (left) with the Lewis-Manning team outside their new office at Swanage’s Methodist Church

“We really enjoy being a part of the local communities in Purbeck”

Lewis-Manning director of clinical services, Hayley Bonner said:

“We very much welcome this opportunity and we are hugely grateful for the kind support of Swanage Methodist Church, providing us with our office accommodation.

“We really enjoy being a part of the local communities in Purbeck and supporting patients and their families with life limiting illnesses.

“Living with a life-limiting illness can be particularly isolating and it’s great to be continually developing our ‘Closer to Home’ strategy.

“Our clinical nursing team will be based at the new hub and will be hot desking, along with our fundraising team. We are looking forward to working more in the local community and further supporting Purbeck’s patients and families.”

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