Christmas lights to help the homeless and hungry

NADV 1211201AM10 Xmas lights switch on. Father Christmas was joined by the Mayor of Harrogate Robert Windass, the Mayoress of Harrogate Sylvia Windass. Andrew Jones MP, Coun. John Fox, members of Purple Mafia and The Blues Brothers for the switching on of this years lights.  (12112201AM10)
NADV 1211201AM10 Xmas lights switch on. Father Christmas was joined by the Mayor of Harrogate Robert Windass, the Mayoress of Harrogate Sylvia Windass. Andrew Jones MP, Coun. John Fox, members of Purple Mafia and The Blues Brothers for the switching on of this years lights. (12112201AM10)
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Huge crowds are to gather in central Harrogate for the ‘Big Switch On’ of the town’s Christmas lights on Thursday, November 21.

Celebrations will begin outside the Victoria Shopping Centre from 4pm with Mayor Michael Newby, accompanied by Father Christmas, to light up the town at 6pm.

And this year, proceeds from the event are to go towards supporting a breakfast club for the homeless held at St Peter’s Church.

“They are there not just at Christmas time but give help throughout the year,” said Coun John Fox, chairman of the Harrogate at Christmas Group.

Rev Tony Shepherd says the Breakfast Club serves hot breakfasts to 10 to 25 people every morning - and gives out up to 50 food parcels a night.

“They might have been sleeping rough, though that is rare,” he said. “More often they have no home of their own and are sleeping on someone else’s floor. Some want to meet up with others at the beginning of the day. It may be their main contact. Food banks have increased over the past couple of years, but at St Peter’s we have been helping the hungry in this way for over 25 years.”

To donate, send cheques payable to St Peter’s Church to Harrogate at Christmas, PO Box 8, HG2 8XB.