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Christmas lights switch on hopes to fill Norwich estate with community spirit

Kim Weston is encouraging her neighbours in the NR2 area of norwich to put up Christmas decorations to encourage community spirit.
Kim with her neighbour Flo Morris.
Picture: Nick Butcher

Kim Weston is encouraging her neighbours in the NR2 area of norwich to put up Christmas decorations to encourage community spirit. Kim with her neighbour Flo Morris. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

For some it is too early to even be thinking about Christmas.

Kim Weston is encouraging her neighbours in the NR2 area of norwich to put up Christmas decorations to encourage community spirit.
Picture: Nick ButcherKim Weston is encouraging her neighbours in the NR2 area of norwich to put up Christmas decorations to encourage community spirit. Picture: Nick Butcher

But after the success of a yard sale that saw hundreds of residents come together, one postcode in Norwich is hoping to light up their estate for the festive season.

Residents in NR2 are being invited to “take over the street” with Christmas lights and decorations to help spread festive joy.

Kim Weston moved to Norwich 20 years ago from Miami to study at the UEA. She loved the area and decided to stay but noticed that not many people were getting involved in the community.

After organising a postcode-wide yard sale, she decided to try and create a Christmas gathering.

Kim Weston is encouraging her neighbours in the NR2 area of norwich to put up Christmas decorations to encourage community spirit.
Kim with her neighbour Flo Morris.
Picture: Nick ButcherKim Weston is encouraging her neighbours in the NR2 area of norwich to put up Christmas decorations to encourage community spirit. Kim with her neighbour Flo Morris. Picture: Nick Butcher

The mother-of-two said: “We did the yard sale in the summer with the idea of getting more people involved in the community and it was a huge success with over 300 houses.

“The biggest thing that people got out of that was meeting their neighbours. People loved just talking to people.

“We have done something similar on my road for the last four years were we all decorate our homes and turn them on at the same time and we make it what we want.

“I put something online and the response has been positive. It was just an idea but over 600 people have already responded.

Kim Weston is encouraging her neighbours in the NR2 area of norwich to put up Christmas decorations to encourage community spirit.
Picture: Nick ButcherKim Weston is encouraging her neighbours in the NR2 area of norwich to put up Christmas decorations to encourage community spirit. Picture: Nick Butcher

“It’s a grass roots activity just about people doing something small or big at the same time and come out and look around the neighbourhood and meet their neighbours.”

For the big light up residents are asked to all turn their lights at 5pm on Saturday, December 8.

There is no need for households to register just to decorate their homes however they wish before heading out onto the streets to marvel at the lights and meet fellow neighbours.

The event has also been organised after Mrs Weston created a survey after the yard sale to see what benefits the community gained from it.

She added: “I created a survey to find out what people really got out of it and by far just meeting the neighbours.

“What started out as something for community allowed people to sell items and declutter but the largest benefit was meeting people.”

For more information about the switch-on search NR2 light switch-on on www.eventbrite.co.uk or Facebook.

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