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Residents encouraged to light up St Helens Borough this Christmas for Willlowbrook

Article date - 13 November 2020

St Helens Borough Council has teamed up with Willowbrook Hospice to spread some much-needed joy this Christmas.
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With public events unable to take place this year to stop the spread of coronavirus, the council is supporting Willowbrook’s latest project – ‘decorate and donate’ which asks residents and businesses across the borough to dress their homes and premises with lights and decorations, making a donation to the hospice if they can.  
  
The project comes on the back of the recent successful St Helens Scarecrow Festival, started by Eccleston resident Amanda Fieldhouse, which ran over the Halloween period receiving great public support, with more than 850 creative scarecrows - from princesses and unicorns, to TV’s the Royle Family - raising an impressive £23,211 for Willowbrook which has been hit hard financially as a result of COVID-19. 
  
As part of the project, Willowbrook Hospice Corporate Director, Alun Owen, will join the Mayor of St Helens, Paul McQuade, in switching on the Christmas lights in St Helens town centre, with pre-recorded performances from schools and singers going out on the council’s and Willowbrook’s social media channels at 7:00pm on Friday 4 December for residents to watch from the comfort of their own home. 

Christmas lights will also be switched on in all wards across the borough. 
  
Showing his support to the project, St Helens Borough Council Leader David Baines said: “Willowbrook Hospice is such an important charity, providing end of life care to so many. Like many charities and organisations, Willowbrook is unfortunately bearing the brunt financially as a result of coronavirus and we can’t sit back and see that happen.   
  
“That’s why it gives me great pleasure to team up with this worthy cause to help raise some much-needed funds for a charity that means to so much to the people of St Helens and surrounding areas.” 
 
Councillor Anthony Burns, Cabinet Member for Public Health, Leisure, Libraries and Heritage added: “ I think we’re all preparing ourselves for a different Christmas this year – but given everything COVID-19 has thrown at us – we need something to be cheerful about, and with the festive season upon us, the decorate and donate project will achieve just that. 
  
“We all saw the huge lift the recent St Helens Scarecrow Festival brought to our borough, with so many households and communities taking part, so we hope that  as a community, we can light up our borough and lift people's spirits after what has been a very challenging year for everyone.” 
  
Willowbrook Hospice Corporate Director, Alun Owen, said:  
 
“Over the last few months, everyone at Willowbrook has been overwhelmed by the way our community has supported each other as we all deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope the decorate to donate initiative gives a much-needed lift that we could all do with this year. Winter is the time that many cultures celebrate with festivals of light, so we hope as many people as possible join us in lighting up St Helens and send that feeling of gloom far away!” 
  
To make a donation to Willowbrook, visit: www.justgiving.com/campaign/donateanddecorate