Call for Norfolk to boost community Christmas spirit after lockdown

Firs Road in Hethersett lit up for Christmas.

Firs Road in Hethersett lit up for Christmas. - Credit: Anthony Dunton

Communities across Norfolk's villages, towns and city streets are being urged to brighten up their homes to lift spirits this Christmas.

The Let's Brighten Up campaign, led by this newspaper, is calling for families and households to get creative and pull together after what has been a tough year for the county due to coronavirus restrictions and lockdowns.

Whether it is houses lit up in festive lights or handmade decorations on show for community trails, it is more important than ever for communities to work together safely to mark the Christmas season.

David Powles, editor for the Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News, said: "For many, Christmas will be a very different time this year as we try to balance the need to stay safe with a desire to see family and friends. However, as we near the end of this most torrid of years it's so important we do what we can to finish on a positive and give families, in particular children, some happy memories to look back on.

"By transforming our communities into bright and colourful scenes of joy and Christmas spirit we can do just that."

Kat Downes, 43, from Hellesdon, has organised a  Light the Night Lantern Celebration in the area where households will display homemade decorations for a trail from November 27 to November 29.

Kat Downes from Hellesdon who has organised a homemade lantern display around the community to celebrate Christmas and...

Kat Downes from Hellesdon, who has organised a lantern trail in Hellesdon. - Credit: Kat Downes

She said: "Community events are about staying connected and making new friends, which is essential."

Matthew Peek, 51, from Paget Adams Drive in Dereham, has organised a mass Christmas lights display on the close for the Salvation Army since 2004.

Paget Adams Drive carol service in Dereham in 2017. This is the same road where a fire broke out in

Christmas lights on Paget Adams Drive Dereham, in a previous year. - Credit: Eloise Peek

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He said: "It brings the neighbourhood together. Everyone needs a lift."

Another area encouraging households to display lights for a special trail is Thorpe St Andrew.

John Fisher, cabinet member for childrens services. Picture: Norfolk County Council

Thorpe St Andrew mayor John Fisher. Picture: Norfolk County Council - Credit: Archant

Mayor John Fisher said: "It will hopefully diverge people's thoughts. Let's bring happiness and cheer."

Several villages are also getting involved including Hethersett, where several streets will be adorned with lights for Finnbar’s Force children's brain tumour charity, set up in 2017 in memory of Finnbar Cork who died aged five from a brain tumour.

Tristan Cork with his daughter Nell Cork at Park Green in Hethersett, which will be decorated with C

Tristan Cork with his daughter Nell Cork at Park Green in Hethersett, which will be decorated with Christmas lights this year for a community display. Picture: Neil Perry - Credit: Archant

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