A local charity group in Queensbury near Bradford have been raising funds online and in person to allow a Christmas lights event to take place this year in spite of COVID-19.
The Friends of Queensbury High Street are raising money on behalf of Queensbury Community Programme to hold a live stream Christmas lights event at the end of November.
The group has almost 500 members and aims to make a difference in their community by volunteering in litter picking and fund raisers.
“Residents said they would like Christmas lights, which was OK until we found out the cost of them. But we’re a great community in Queensbury because people always help out,” said Linda Mozley, who is a volunteer for the group.
Mozley said it would have been £15,000 to erect the lights until Paul Clarke, the owner of Black Dyke Mills in Queensbury, came in with a generous donation.
“Paul Clarke said he would provide the lights, we just have to find the cost of putting them up, taking them down, PAT testing, and storage.”
The group went to the local Tesco this past weekend and raised a total of £503.86.
Another volunteer, Steph Thompson, said: “We started as a litter picking group.
“The response from the people of Queensbury has been phenomenal. We’ve had very few negative responses, and demand has been particularly high due to COVID. We just wanted to lift the spirits of the village.”
When the group set out to raise funds last year, local businesses such as Co-Op, Marshall’s Bakers and Caldo’s Pizza all did their part for their community by donating goods and funds.
Bethany Tejani, a local to Queensbury, said the lights are needed to boost people’s spirits and bring all-round festive cheer.
“Without a proper switch on it leaves the community feeling like there is nothing to look forward to. This will help the community feel a little bit excited again.”
The group has the slogan “to help make a difference to our village and add some colour and pride to the high street”, which they certainly have been honouring over the years.
They have so far raised a total of £215 on their GoFundMe page, totalling up to £718.86 including their efforts at Tesco this weekend.
The light switch on is expected to be live streamed during the last weekend of November on most social media platforms in order to get around lockdown restrictions.
Donations can be made here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/queensbury-christmas-lights-2020?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_campaign=p_cf%20share-flow-1&fbclid=IwAR1dPyksvtrWWYOkDc3UurFGuX7VjtLIRQM8gIkFaDZFbDEzM1ys0A3ERsg