Efforts of volunteers praised following town’s Christmas lights switch-on
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018
An organiser behind one of Dereham's calendar highlights has praised the efforts of all involved with the Christmas lights switch-on.
Thousands of people descended in the market place to enjoy the festivities and also to support young Denver Clinton - a brave four-old boy battling a rare form of cancer - who was asked to switch on the lights.
Denver, from Mattishall, was beaming as he arrived chauffeured in a police car to start the big countdown at 5pm on Sunday, December 2.
Diagnosed with stage four high-risk neuroblastoma in May, he has been fighting the disease ever since by undergoing high doses of chemotherapy, bone marrow aspirations and blood transfusions.
Roger Atterwill, who runs Wensum Valley Electrical Ltd, volunteers to put the lights up for free each year. Mr Atterwill and his team, including son Sean, work together with the carnival team to put on the event.
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He said: 'It has once again been a privilege to be part of the team that worked so hard to work on the Dereham Christmas lights project. A small but dedicated team of volunteers has worked very hard for months to make this happen and I am proud to call them friends.
'The aim this year was to give a little boy a special day that he and his family can remember. The team of dedicated volunteers with help from local businesses and Norfolk Constabulary achieved this.'
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He also hit back at a few critics of the event, who complained about a lack of budget and quantity of lights, and dubbed their remarks 'disappointing'.
'Talk of what other towns do is all very interesting but not really relevant,' he said. 'This is Dereham and we have a great deal to be proud of 365 days of the year. I have witnessed first hand some amazing community spirit in this town and long may it continue. It is something which we should all aim to build upon.'
Mr Atterwill called for people to get involved with next year's event by contacting Dereham Town Council via email email@example.com or ringing 01362 693821.