Can you help Shefford Christmas Lights Committee raise £4k?
The committee is appealing for a new storage container and lights.
The Shefford Christmas Lights Committee is on a mission to raise £4,000 to help keep the town sparkling for many winters to come.
The hardworking group is appealing for donations to help cover the costs of a new storage container and decorations, as the equipment's current home - a garden shed - has become rather the worse for wear.
The committee is encouraging people to come and support the Christmas Lights Switch On on November 27, where there will be fun for all the family and a chance to give some pennies to the cause.
Trudy Kelly, committee secretary, said: "At the moment they are stored in a really decrepit shed. We have a site for a new shipping container and we are just trying to raise money to buy one.
"We would be able to carry out the maintenance of the lights in the container, rather than having to move everything out of the shed two or three times a year; it would be fantastic.
"But because of Covid we haven't been able to hold many fundraising events, so we thought we could try a GoFundMe page.
"We raised about £800 in the last week and would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has donated."
As lockdown restrictions eased this summer, the committee had its first opportunity to fundraise at the Shefford Town Festival, where they held a coconut shy, while last weekend the team held a stall outside Morrisons where people could pay £1 to have their name written on a lightbulb.
Most of the decorations are now in place ready for the big Switch On, and the team can't wait to reveal some new decorations too.
Trudy added: "We have Father Christmas coming, Peppa Pig, and Chrissy Rhodes the lead singer from The Shires will be switching the lights on.
"What do the children enjoy? I think it's the magic of Christmas. When the lights are on it will be one of the first signs!
"If you would like to help Shefford look bright on a winter's night then your donations will be greatly received."
The timetable for November 27 is as follows: stalls open - 3.30pm; choir performance - 4pm; Santa and Peppa Pig arrive - 4.30pm; lights switch on with Chrissie Rhodes 5pm; dance routines from Beatbox - 5.30pm.
Laura Madsen, Chair of Shefford Christmas Lights Committee, said: "With hopefully now an end to this pandemic, all of us involved with the Shefford Christmas lights are so excited for what will be a memorable evening.
"It is, as many people know, our 40th year celebrations. We have invested in many new lights, spending a lot of the year planning and doing maintenance so everyone can come together - Sheffordians and surrounding towns and villages alike.
"Last year we had a virtual switch-on due to Covid and, as much as we all tried, it just wasn’t the same as seeing the joy the lights bring everyone's faces. However, this year switch-on will be in person and we will have many stalls selling a variety of foods, drinks, and local crafts, as well as music and dancing entertainment."
She added: "We are not council run nor a charity and we desperately need funds for a new container and site; as mentioned before, this will be in excess of £4,000 and we still need a lot of donations. A huge thank you to those that have already donated."
The committee is comprised of Treasurer Brenda Ford, Secretary Trudy Kelly, electricians Jack Reynolds and Paul Junker, René Madsen, Terri Johnson and chair Laura Madsen.
The team would like to say a huge thank you to their "loyal volunteers", without whom the display would "not be possible".
If any local businesses or traders wish to have a stand at the event, please email [email protected] as soon as possible.
The appeal has so far raised £1,500. You can donate via the GoFundMe page.