Nissan workers pitch in to help new Sunderland hospice flourish

Jane Knot, Andy Street and Ritchie Fothergill, front, left to right, from the Nissan Company Council and the spruce tree planted in the grounds of St Benedict's to be  a permanent Christmas tree at the Hospice. With them are Sylvia Stoneham, Hospice Fundraiser, and Julie Sherriff, with Kathleen and Jim Sherriff, their husband and son Michael Sherriff was a patient at St Benedict's.
Jane Knot, Andy Street and Ritchie Fothergill, front, left to right, from the Nissan Company Council and the spruce tree planted in the grounds of St Benedict's to be a permanent Christmas tree at the Hospice. With them are Sylvia Stoneham, Hospice Fundraiser, and Julie Sherriff, with Kathleen and Jim Sherriff, their husband and son Michael Sherriff was a patient at St Benedict's.
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A TOUCH of Christmas cheer is helping patients at a Sunderland hospice get into the festive spirit.

Caring workers from Nissan have funded the planting of a mature tree in the grounds of the new St. Benedict’s Hospice and Centre for Specialist Palliative Care in Ryhope.

The Christmas tree will form part of the Hospice’s annual Light up A Life carol service which will take place on December 8.

Sylvia Stoneham, fund-raiser for St. Benedict’s, said: “This came about during a conversation with the staff last year.

“There were so many positive comments about last year’s Light Up A Life tree, but I was explaining how difficult and expensive it was to source a large Christmas tree every year, then dispose of it at the end of the festive season.

“Nissan approached me offering to purchase a mature rooted tree, so we can have one in the grounds for many years to come.”

The link between Nissan and the hospice came about following the death of employee Michael Sherriff, who was a patient at St. Benedict’s.

Sylvia said: “Although the tree was not purchased specifically in memory of Michael, I thought it would be nice to invite Michael’s family to help with the planting.

“We’d like to invite people to celebrate and remember the life of a loved one by sponsoring a special light on our tree.

“People can also join us at the Hospice on Sunday, December 8, from 4pm, for the short carol service when the tree will be illuminated.”