Four-year-old Noah shines as the star of Starbeck's Christmas lights switch-on

Starbeck boy Noah Maguire switched on the Christmas lights.
Starbeck boy Noah Maguire switched on the Christmas lights.
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The hard work of Starbeck's Christmas lights committee paid off on Saturday with a well-attended community switch-on, despite challenges faced this year.

Although the event has some support from Harrogate Borough Council, the lights are still reliant on donations from local businesses and members of the public - as well as months of tireless fundraising by a small band of volunteers.

It was a big moment for four-year-old Starbeck boy Noah Maguire who pushed the button this year, lighting up the High Street and the faces of residents with his infectious smiles and enthusiasm.

Noah is diagnosed with rare neurological condition cerebellar hypoplasia, and the whole Starbeck community has rallied to help him live life to the full with a series of fundraising events. It was heartwarming again to see residents turning out to support Noah as he switched the lights on. Noah had been practising hard by flicking the switch on a fish tank at home.

Noah's mum Catherine said: "In the past six months we have managed to raise £2,000 thanks to the generosity of the local community in supporting Noah's quest for walking and independence.

"Thank you to everyone for the abundance of love and support that we have been shown. He continues to be a joy in all aspects of life and faces all of his challenges with determination. Noah just loves life and embraces all opportunities to have fun."

Throughout the day St Andrew's Church hosted a Christmas fair to build up to the switch-on. The church hall was packed with stallholders and residents all getting into the festive spirit.

Running a stall for Miss Mollies Dog Rescue charity, Deb Greig said: "It's a really nice atmosphere here, it's nice to see so many local people out supporting this event. It's been a good day."

Starbeck Christmas lights committee member Terry Edmonson said they had worked hard to make the event happen, but warned that more support is needed if the great Starbeck tradition is to continue.