Scottish celebrity chef and restaurateur Tony Singh has joined forces with St Columba’s Hospice to help launch the world’s first interactive memory-powered map as part of the charity’s new Light up a Memory campaign.
The new site allows users to search for a location anywhere in the world that reminds them of a loved one who has died and leave a marker dedicated to that person.
Mr Singh, whose grandmother was supported by the hospice, chose Gayfield Square Park in Edinburgh as the setting for his memory.
He said: “St Columba’s Hospice is a cause very close to my heart. Members of my family have been affected by terminal illness and the charity was there at every step to provide genuine care and support to help us.
“Light up a Memory is a unique way to honour a loved one and so I’ve placed a marker in Gayfield Square Park, which holds fond childhood memories for myself and my family.
“I hope people will get behind the campaign and share their own special memories to help raise awareness of the vital work the hospice does across Edinburgh and the Lothians.”
The new campaign is an extension of the existing Light up a Life Appeal run by St Columba’s Hospice, which invites supporters to dedicate a light in memory of a loved one on the 40ft Tree of Remembrance in Charlotte Square Gardens.
The charity visualises the new Light up a Memory website will provide a unique alternative to those living out of the Capital and are unable to attend this year’s Tree Lighting Ceremony on December 10.
Jon Heggie, director of fundraising for St Columba’s Hospice, said: “Many of the people we support have extended family living outwith Edinburgh, often in other countries.
“We wanted to create a campaign to reflect this, giving families a way to connect and reflect on fond memories even if they can’t be together. It’s easy to take part and you can dedicate a marker to a loved one whether they were cared for by the hospice or not.
“We hope that in addition to reminding people about the vital work hospices do, the map will shine brightly with glowing markers throughout the year – each one a memory or story close to the heart of people across our community and beyond.”
Money raised from the campaign will help the hospice care for those with life-limiting illnesses and their families.
Last year, the Tree Lighting Ceremony was attended by more than 2000 people and the appeal raised £120,000 which is the equivalent to 2400 hours of specialist nursing care.
St Columba’s Hospice supports more than 1100 individuals and their families across Edinburgh and the Lothians every year, including bereavement support.
The charity also supports low income communities in Uganda and northern India and in the past year has hosted visiting specialists from Germany, Iceland, Israel, Japan and Nepal.
To Light up a Memory visit: www.lightupamemory.com to find your location and add your marker.