November 15 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Light up a life this Advent

St Margaret of Scotland Hospice offers readers the opportunity to sponsor a Christmas tree light—and don’t miss the Christmas bus

St Margaret of Scotland Hospice was the first hospice to open in Scotland. It was established by the Sisters of Charity in 1950. It is also the largest, with 58 in-patient beds—St Joseph’s Ward has 30 beds for patients receiving palliative care and the Mary Aikenhead Centre has 28 beds for frail elderly with complex medical, nursing and end of life needs.

The hospice touches the lives of more than 500 people a year, helping those who are living with a life-limiting illness and their families and carers.

Finding that a partner, close friend or family member is terminally ill is never easy to deal with and when the word ‘hospice’ is mentioned, the stark reality of the situation really hits home. But anyone who has experienced care, or visited a loved one in a hospice, will know exactly why they are so important.



A hospice is not about death; it is about living life to the fullest.

In addition to in-patient care, the hospice provides a range of day services including complementary therapies, out-patient clinic, the Edwina Bradley Day Hospice, offering a range of activity including energy conservation and breathlessness management sessions, art therapy and hydrotherapy. Physiotherapy and occupational therapy are available for Edwina Bradley Day Hospice, outpatient and all hospice patients.

Our approach to providing care is holistic, taking into account the uniqueness of the individual and the spiritual, physical, psychological and social needs of both patients and their carers.

A multi-professional team approach to providing care is undertaken within the hospice. The multi-professional team comprises of nursing and medical staff, physiotherapists, pastoral care staff, counsellors, complementary therapists and occupational therapists.

Bereavement and grief are natural processes and many people find their own way through their loss with the support of family and friends. Nevertheless some people will experience difficulty in adapting and will benefit from the support of others outside their extended family and friends. The Hospice Caritas Bereavement Support Service provides bereavement support, counselling and art therapy provided by a team of qualified, experienced and specially trained staff and volunteers.



Christmas is a very special time of year for sharing memories and thinking of those nearest and dearest to us. Light Up a Life is a very important event in the hospice calendar. It provides the opportunity for members of the public to sponsor a Christmas tree light dedicated to the memory of a loved one or in honour of someone dear to them.

In 2013, as in previous years, the Christmas tree in the grounds of the hospice will have more than 2000 lights shining out. Many lights are in memory of a loved one who has died in the hospice although everyone is invited to participate and to make a donation to secure their light for their loved one.

The special ‘lighting up’ service takes place at the hospice on the first Sunday in Advent. This year, the service is on Sunday December 1 at 6.30pm. This is a special time for family and friends to gather to remember those whom they have loved and lost. The Light Up a Life Christmas tree will remain lit until Monday January 6 2014.

“Christmas at the hospice is always a very special time for the patients, visitors and staff,” Sr Rita Dawson, chief executive at St Margaret of Scotland Hospice, explained.

“It is a time of preparation, activity and reflection.  It is also a time of giving and we find people are very supportive of the work we do here.

“We take this opportunity to thank everyone who will support us this year, those who have supported us in the past and those who will continue to support us in the New Year.

“We rely greatly on the generosity of the public, not only in terms of money, but also in the time they give to support our various activities. Without them we would not be able to do all we do. Whilst for many Christmas is a time for happiness and joy, it is also a time of sadness for those who have lost a loved one. ‘Light Up a Life’ is a support to those people.”


Don’t miss the bus

In the pre-Christmas period, from Friday November 29 until Tuesday December 24, volunteers and staff will be getting into their stride with one of their most ‘fun’ fundraising activities—the Christmas Bus.

The Christmas Bus is a major annual fundraising event for St Margaret of Scotland Hospice and generates a substantial amount of money towards the running costs of the hospice. It is an integral part of the hospice’s fundraising calendar, eagerly awaited by young and old alike as we tour our local communities in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

We hire an open top bus (and driver) and decorate the bus with Christmas lights and Christmas figures—Christmas music is also played whilst the bus is touring the areas. Volunteers help to collect either at the weekend street collections or house-to-house in the evenings.

The volunteers and staff enter the spirit of the occasion by dressing up in festive costumes—which create an extra fun atmosphere for those who experience the Christmas Bus coming into their community.

At weekends when the bus is parked in Glasgow or at a shopping centre, children and adults/guardians are able to come on board the Christmas Bus to visit Santa and his helper, adding an extra special touch of Christmas magic while helping a very good cause.

The Christmas Bus will be touring East and West Dunbartonshire and Glasgow’s West End, in addition to Glasgow City Centre and Braehead Shopping Centre.


— Contact the hospice on 0141 952 1141 or 0141 435 7018 for further information or to request a Light Up a Life order form.


— Write to the hospice at: St Margaret of Scotland Hospice, East Barns Street, Clydebank, G81 1EG. Telephone 0141 952 1141 or fax  0141 951 4206.


— Visit the hospice website at



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