WHILE Christmas is a wonderful time for most, it can be a difficult period for those who have lost someone they loved.

That is why, in 2014, a Chard funeral directors launched a new scheme to help remember people who have passed on as well as raise money for charity.

Claire and Barry Gibbs, from B. Gibbs Funeral Services Ltd, held their inaugural memory tree four years ago and money collected went to the Teenage Cancer Trust.

The memory tree is on display in B Gibbs offices and people are allowed to place a star on the tree in memory of their loved ones and make a donation as they do so.

So far, just under £2,500 has been collected for charities helping people in the South West.

In 2015, Claire and Barry supported Children’s Hospice Cancer Trust, after which they raised nearly £550 for St Margaret’s Hospice.

Last year, money was collected for mental health support charity Somerset MIND, and this year the chosen beneficiary will be Somerset Sight.

Claire Gibbs said: “This years charity is Somerset Sight - a charity working with visually impaired people across Somerset.

“They provide immediate help and support to enable visually impaired people to lead a more independent life, giving them confidence to live independently, improve emotional wellbeing, to feel less isolated.

“The resource and rehabilitation unit at Northfield House, Taunton is open Monday to Friday demonstrating and giving advice on the latest equipment available to the visually impaired.”

Somerset Sight also offers courses for people to learn how to adapt to life without sight.

Claire added: “The charity is currently supporting over 3,000 people across the county.

“In 2019, Somerset Sight will be celebrating 100 years.

“Their current fundraising campaign is the centenary brick appeal, to improve Northfield House to enable them to provide first class facilities offering more space for consultations.”

The charity is also hoping to create a commemorative brochure of the work and families helped over the last 100 years.

If you or family have received help from Somerset Sight, contact 01823 333818.