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Video: Memory Tree helps remember loved ones at Christmas

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The Christmas window display in a Longfield Hospice charity shop has been the talk of the town – and provoked an outpouring of emotion. Paula Underwood, Shop Manager in Wotton-under-Edge lost her partner, Dan Ward at Christmastime in 2019 and is aware of how difficult this time of year can be.

“I wanted to make a willow tree because after my partner Dan passed, the guys here [at the Longfield shop] had a collection and I bought a willow tree to remember Dan by,” said Paula.

longfield window | Video: Memory Tree helps remember loved ones at Christmas

The memory tree display echoes a weeping willow, its leaves carry the names of loved ones who have passed away.

“I just thought it would be really nice if this became a memory tree because I don’t like Christmas because that was when Dan died. I’m very aware from the job I do and the people that I talk to that a lot of people weren’t looking forward to Christmas, in fact, they were dreading it.”

DSC01570 | Video: Memory Tree helps remember loved ones at Christmas
Names on leaves remembering lost loved ones.

Paula posted about the memory tree on social media and by the end of that day had received around 90 names from people who wanted to remember their loved ones.

“I have been touched by all the local support I have received, not just on a personal level as we all miss Dan – life is just less fun without him – but for the window display itself, being trusted with so many people’s loved ones that are missed. Although sad it has also been very beautiful,” added Paula.

DSC01609 | Video: Memory Tree helps remember loved ones at Christmas
Paula Underwood. Picture: Matt Bigwood.

“I would like to thank Pam Cornock who retires at Christmas, and to Tracy Smetham for putting up with me, and all the staff and volunteers for their hard work and support too.”

The Longfield shop window display can be seen in Long Street, Wotton-under-Edge, with more names being added daily.

Video and pictures by Matt Bigwood

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