We recently interviewed Liz Jackson, Chair of Care Fundraising Supplies, about the history of the Light Up a Life movement and our involvement in its development. She helpfully gave us a really interesting lowdown on how the movement began, and how it has grown into the successful annual fundraising campaign it is today.
LJ: ‘A small number of hospices were looking for an event in the winter months that would help their fundraising. The campaigns were a success, with the main feature being supporters who purchased lights to remember a loved one, which were placed in a tree outside and turned on during the event.
The success of these initial events lead to NAHF agreeing that Help the Hospices (the main hospice representative organisation) would get involved in promoting Light Up a Life to hospices as a major event.
Help the Hospices held meetings and conferences to discuss and disseminate concepts, ideas and involved Care Fundraising Supplies in a couple of these to see how we could contribute on the merchandise side.
The design of the first Light Up a Life badge was subject to a number of criteria – the shape should not have a particularly religious connotation or be recognisable as a shape used by a charity/commercial organisation previously – serious and without an overtly commercial feeling to it. Many hospices were originally totally against having any merchandise for the event.
So, we came up with an 8 point star which has the bottom point fractionally longer that the others. The design was accepted after some size and thickness amendments.
We kept the design the same for two years then hospices asked for a new design each year as many found that their supporters collected each design and this helped with their fundraising.
Care also responded to individual hospice requests for additional products for the event – battery candles, switch on night lights etc. We responded to these requests along with providing specific products for hospices who named their event something other than LUAL such as Wigan – Light for A Life.’