‘Blown away’ by community support for Lewis-Manning Hospice Care’s ‘Candles on the Lake’

Oct 17, 2022

‘Blown away’ by community support for Lewis-Manning Hospice Care’s ‘Candles on the Lake’

Saturday saw the return of Lewis-Manning Hospice Care’s annual free community event, ‘Candles on the Lake’, hosted at The Ark in Poole Park. The incredible local community came together to reflect, celebrate and remember the lives of loved ones, by donating for a candle which was floated on the lake.

Supporters had the option to pre-register for a candle or donate on the night and most people took the opportunity to add a personal message to their candle at the dedication station inside The Ark.

The team from Rockley Watersports did an incredible job of releasing over 1,000 candles onto the lake, despite the challenging weather conditions, to create a magical display of floating lights. In honour of HRH Queen Elizabeth II, the first candle released was a special purple light dedicated to Her Majesty and shone proudly on the lake.

Boscombe Salvation Army Band entertained with a repertoire of songs, followed by reflective and heart-warming performances from Peter’s Community Choir and Rock Choir. Lewis-Manning Hospice Care’s Family Support & Bereavement Lead, Jo Sharkey delivered a poignant reading.

Fundraising Manager Vicki Gray said, “Our supporters and community are amazing! Despite the unsettled weather conditions, over three thousand people came to support our ‘Candles on the Lake’ event and waited patiently whilst we adapted our method to float the candles safely in the strong winds.

“It was very much a family orientated evening with lots of children attending with their parents and grandparents to remember loved ones no longer with us.

“There’s something very magical about seeing the lights floating in the dark, but more than that, there was a real sense of emotion and community spirit that filled the air.

“The event raised over £8,000 which will go towards funding our Bereavement and Family Support service, as well as other vital hospice care and support to patients and their families, from diagnosis of a life-limiting illness, through to end of life and bereavement.

The event’s proud sponsors, Care South, were in attendance, with many of their staff members taking up the wonderful opportunity to float a candle in celebration of a loved one. The organisation’s Head of Marketing & PR, Chris Golding said, “Care South were thrilled to support ‘Candles on the Lake’, it was such a magical event that really brought the community together. We as an organisation are always keen to support local initiatives and were delighted to be able to play a part in helping to make this event another huge success. Lewis-Manning Hospice Care does such great work in the community, and we were thrilled to be able to contribute and help this fantastic charity hospice.”

Vicki concluded, “There are so many other thank you’s to make; The Ark, Rockley Watersports, BCP Council, Southern Entertainment Services, Frames by Ben, Crews Consulting First Aid, Rock Choir, Boscombe Salvation Army Band, St Peter’s Community Choir, Tesco, B&Q and Hobbycraft. Not forgetting all our amazing volunteers that supported us on the night and helped make it all run smoothly – staff from Care South, Poole Bay Holdings, McCarthy Stone, Barclays, Irwin Mitchell, AFC Bournemouth Academy team, Poole Yacht Club and of course our own hospice staff and volunteers. Thank you too to Tapper Funeral Services for kindly supporting our ‘dedication station’.

“We have had an influx of heartfelt messages from attendees expressing their appreciation for the event and sharing how beautiful and emotional it was. ‘Candles on the Lake’ will be back in October 2023.”

All candles were floated safely onto the lake, so as not to effect plants and wildlife in the area.  All the flameless candles were collected at the end of the evening by dedicated volunteers to ensure there was no litter and will also be reused for subsequent years.

About Lewis-Manning Hospice Care

Lewis-Manning Hospice Care is in its 30th anniversary year, providing extraordinary care to patients and their loved ones facing a life-limiting illness across Poole, Purbeck and East Dorset. We offer a range of free hospice care services aimed at helping people to live well through their illness, closer to home. These include:

– Day hospices, virtual and in person

– Creative arts & wellbeing support

– Lymphoedema clinic

– Breathlessness clinic

– Bereavement & family support

– Complementary therapy

– Hospice at home

Every year we support nearly 500 local people and we develop new services, based on patient need and identified gaps in the area. To do this we need to raise over £2.3m every year. Without these funds we could not exist. Our important work increases people’s physical and social well-being, reduces isolation and loneliness, supports people to stay in their homes longer, and alleviates the huge pressures on family and carers.


Registered charity no. 1120193