Help us light up Didsbury in 2019!
Here at Didsbury Traders Association, we hang lights and decorations in our shops and businesses. In the past, Didsbury’s lamp-posts, Christmas tree and switch-on event were Council-run and Council-funded, using local neighbourhood budgets, boosted by our members’ financial contributions and fundraising efforts.
In these days of budget squeezes, Council funding is severely reduced.
Some large local businesses have stepped in – we’re grateful to PJ Livesey and Siemens, whose donations in 2018 helped light up Didsbury Village. For the most part, however, it’s small businesses that contribute; from cash donations and outdoor decorations, to providing free refreshments at the switch-on.
The big boys? Not so much – and believe us, we’ve asked! Banks, supermarkets, big coffee chains and similar take money out of our high streets, yet put nothing back. Some might have a ‘community’ fund of about £50 a year, others just refer you to ‘Head Office’ (who never reply). Think back to the last local raffle you entered. Who donated the prizes? The independents.
Our wonderful switch-on celebration is organised by Jayne Crawshaw and Didsbury Community Association. The event completely relies on volunteers like Didsbury Blues, the fire service, schools, councillors and performers.
Christmas in Didsbury is on a tightrope, held up by goodwill and small business. As it is, it’s not sustainable.
If Christmas is to look the part in 2019, we need to pull together to to achieve it. Although costs are part-subsidised by the City Council’s contractors Amey, we still need to find £8,000 for lamp-posts, trees and decorations.
This is about more than just rattling a collection tin (though every little helps!): we’d like meaningful collaboration and constructive community engagement, because Christmas belongs to all of us. We can’t do this on our own.
How can you help?
Please spare a bit of change for Didsbury’s Christmas Fund – you’ll see collection tins in some shops in Didsbury Village.
Would you like to become a become a Light Up Didsbury 2019 Partner? Sponsor a bauble for £300 to see your name on a Didsbury Christmas wall.