Birkenshaw villagers urged to help keep Christmas lights shining

Villagers ready for last years switch on. Picture courtesy of Chris Sheard of Stage Shots Photography

A community is urging villagers to help it raise £5,000 each year to ensure its Christmas lights remain switched on.

Birkenshaw Village Association has set up a Just Giving page which will run up to Christmas with a current target of £4,547 which will mean lights continue to shine out at Christmas 2018.

Birkenshaw Village Association Christmas lights 2016. Picture courtesy of Stage Shots Photography.

The association’s Facebook page said that in the run up to Christmas, and having previously raised £453 over the last few months, they hoped fellow villagers would help them make the latest push a success.

Association events and fundraising co-ordinator Fiona Hill-Samuel explained that three years ago the village’s festive lights had become decimated and needed replacing. This was done and over three years £16,500 raised, including a little council help, but they would now need to raise the funds to cover each year’s cost and the best way to do that was to do it in advance.

“We have a new supplier on board and the cost of putting the lights up and checking them over will be at least £4,000.

“We are in the fortunate position that we have enough for this year’s lights and we have taken the decision to fundraise for next year. Now no longer is there any council funding and if we want to do something we have to do it ourselves,” she said.

Birkenshaw Village Association Christmas lights 2016. Picture courtesy of Stage Shots Photography.

To contribute any amount - and every contribution helps - log on to the Just Giving page where you can read about the campaign and make an online donation.

Donations have started coming in with some businesses fundraising and the group hopes this will increase in the coming weeks when people can see the benefit the lights bring.

This year’s switch-on will be on Sunday, December 3, at the Birkenshaw Christmas Fair at Birkenshaw Community Hall at St Paul’s Church, Bradford Road. The fair will run from 2pm to 4.30pm, with the big switch-on of the lights display at 4.15pm. The event is a major association fundraiser, well supported by the communty and a great place for local businesses to showcase what they make and do, said Fiona.

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