Family and friends gather to ‘light up the lives’ of loved ones this Christmas at Cardiff’s Bute Park

Families, friends and colleagues have joined together in Cardiff for a special lights show where they were supported to ‘light up the lives’ of the ones they miss.

More than 200 people gathered to remember and celebrate their loved ones at a special event held by City Hospice in partnership with Christmas at Bute Park, Wales’ premier festive lights trail.

Christmas at Bute Park is a visually epic festive event with more than million twinkling lights and has this year been working closely City Hospice, Cardiff’s local hospice and AP Cymru, a Cardiff charity that celebrates neurodiversity, as its key charity partners.

Every year City Hospice invites supporters to remember and celebrate lives of loved ones during their Light up a Life campaign. This includes attending events like its annual Remembrance Serviceand, new for this year, the Christmas at Bute Park festive performance and light trail.

Whilst Christmas can be a joyous time for most people, for those dealing with the loss of a loved one, it can be an incredibly difficult time. City Hospice’s takeover with Christmas at Bute Park offered the community of Cardiff the opportunity to come together and enjoy this magical light trail whilst holding the memories of their loved ones close.

Attendees at the special event at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama were greeted by host and City Hospice ambassador, journalist and TV presenter Sian Lloyd, alongside performances from Cardiff Male Choir, Y Gerddorfa Ukulele Gymreig and Rock Choir, before heading off into the 1.4km light trail itself.

Amanda Fenton, Fundraising and Marketing Director at City Hospice, said: “Christmas is a wonderful time of year for a lot of people, but for those who have lost someone they love it can also be a very difficult time of year. Sometimes they can feel overwhelmed, or simply unable, during the busy festive season to acknowledge and appreciate the person they very much love and miss”

“We are really thankful to the Christmas at Bute Park team for reaching out and helping us to create this event in support of our annual Light up a Life campaign and giving families and friends a beautifully appropriate space amidst the Christmas rush to light up the lives of their loved ones, in their own special way,” Amanda added.

As part of its partnership with Christmas at Bute Park, City Hospice volunteers were also on hand for bucket donations from visitors to the trail too, with all proceeds raised during its Light up a Life campaign set to go twice as far thanks to match funding from The Hodge Foundation.

This year, the event is also providing complimentary tickets to at least 30 charitable groups, and also working closely with AP Cymru and City Hospice as its key charity partners to make the experience as magical and meaningful as it can, for as many people as it can.

Roxy Robinson, Creative Director at From The Fields, the team behind Christmas at Bute Park, said: “We feel really honoured as a team to have played a really small role in facilitating such a poignant gathering, which means so much to many people, and really delighted that the hard work we’ve put in to creating the wider Christmas at Bute Park event has been of use in such a meaningful way.

“Following confirmation that our event is set to stay in Cardiff city centre for at least another three years, we want to make sure that our support for local communities continues to grow, as it has done already since we first opened our doors in 2021, and our work with City Hospice is one of the many ways we are doing just that.”

“The work City Hospice does to support families is so important – not just at Christmas but whenever they need them – to those relying on their services, and we are really thankful to have been given the opportunity to support them in this way,” Roxy added.

Since December 1st, Bute Park has been taken over by a stunning array of festive lasers, neon trees and flame-lit light installations that will remain open to visitors until January 8th.