A BUILDING society has branched out into the community to help family and friends remember their loved ones on a special memory tree.
Darlington Building Society, through its members, has donated £35,000 to St Teresa’s Hospice, which, alongside funding a room in the charity’s new in-patient unit, has also established a unique tree of remembrance.
The hand-engraved sculpture, which has been fixed to the wall in the hospice’s in-patient reception area, will allow personal memories and messages of support to be engraved on to hundreds of metallic leaves and fixed to the tree in memory of loved ones.
Darlington Building Society chief executive Colin Fyfe said: “As part of our 160th anniversary celebrations we asked our members which organisations they would like to support and a vast majority chose ‘people who help people’.
“St Teresa’s Hospice is a fantastic example of an organisation, here in Darlington, that does just that by providing specialist palliative and at-home care, in addition to supporting family members of those with life-limiting illnesses.
“It’s fabulous to see the way that the funds have been used and the memory tree is a wonderful addition to the hospice and a fantastic way to keep the memory of loved ones alive.”
Funds raised through donations for each leaf will help St Teresa’s provide care for hundreds of people in Darlington, South Durham and North Yorkshire.
St Teresa’s Hospice chief executive Jane Bradshaw said: “It’s wonderful that local organisations like Darlington Building Society continue to support the work we do. To raise such a substantial sum is amazing.
“Our new memory tree provides a truly special space for people to remember and reflect on family and friends and anyone can have a leaf engraved whether their loved ones were cared for by St Teresa’s or not.”
Orders for an engraving can be placed at https://www.support.darlingtonhospice.org.uk/memory-tree or forms are available from the hospice and all St Teresa’s charity shops.