East Midlands Airport lights up control tower in support of Treetops

Published on: Thursday, 25th November 2021
Lucy Hobson and Dad Stuart

East Midlands Airport is showing its support for end-of-life charity Treetops Hospice by lighting up its control tower ahead of the annual Light Up A Life Service on Sunday 5th December.

Passengers travelling to and from the Castle Donington airport will see the logo of the Derbyshire hospice projected onto the 51-meter-high control tower along with a short message encouraging people to remember their loved ones.

Treetops Chief Executive, Julie Heath said: “We really appreciate the support shown by East Midlands Airport in helping us raise awareness of Light Up A Life.

“Our Light Up A Life service is an opportunity for us all to take a few moments to remember someone special in our lives, reflect on the happier times we’ve shared and watch as the lights on our tree shine in their memory.”

Lucy Hobson, Security Compliance Manager at East Midlands Airport, will be remembering her dad during the remembrance service, which takes place online at 6pm on Sunday, December 5. 

Lucy nominated Treetops as the airport’s corporate charity in 2019. Lucy’s dad, Stuart, was 61 years old when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2018. Sadly, by the time of diagnosis, the disease had spread to other parts of his body and Stuart died just 12 days later.

“Treetops supported me with bereavement counselling and complementary therapy following the loss of my dad,” said Lucy, who lives in Long Eaton.

“Dad was hard-working, helpful and practical and spent almost 30 years working for Rolls-Royce, in Derby. He could pretty much turn his hand to anything and was always fixing things for me, my mum and sister – whether it was looking after our cars or rewiring the house.”

“Dad was a loving and affectionate father and husband, and always used to tell us how much he loved us. He would always put ‘his girls’ first and loved Christmas. 

“I remember he was always eyeing up the Christmas food my mum would buy for the big day; he’d often open the Christmas chocolates beforehand, meaning that mum would have to go out and buy more!”

Lucy experienced anxiety and panic attacks after her dad’s death.

“So many people just don’t realise they are struggling following the death of a loved one,” said Lucy (41). 

“During his short illness and after he died, I really struggled with anxiety and severe panic attacks. I became aware that I was probably experiencing such physical symptoms because I didn’t really talk a lot about how I was feeling with my family. 

“My mum and Jennifer would talk openly and cry regularly, but I found that too painful – and I didn’t want to add to their grief. 

“I thought that talking to someone independently might help. I clicked straightaway with my Treetops counsellor and felt that I could speak freely without worrying about causing further upset. 

“I carried a lot of guilt and the counselling allowed me to accept that we all deal with grief differently. It also gave me the opportunity to talk openly about this guilt and my feelings since losing dad. 

“Over time, things got better. Counselling helped to get all my worries off my chest – it literally felt like a weight had been lifted – and I could start enjoying life again.

“Without Treetops, I wouldn’t be on the road to recovery and be able to understand and manage my grief.”

Clare James, East Midlands Airport’s Managing Director, said: “People’s response to the pain of loss and grief has been brought into sharp focus over the last 18 months. 

“As an employer of hundreds of people, we have needed to be alert to the debilitating effect it has on a person’s physical and mental wellbeing. Treetops work to help people cope at such difficult moments is invaluable and transformative, and therefore we’re delighted to support and help raise awareness of this amazing charity.”

The Light Up A Life Service has been created thanks to the generosity of digital agency, Bloc Digital, and can be watched via the Treetops website: www.treetops.org.uk/lights

East Midlands Airport lights up control tower in support of local hospice

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