In the past, our lamp-posts and Christmas tree have been Council-funded, boosted by donations and fund-raising efforts by Didsbury Traders Association, while the switch-on is run by volunteers. In these days of budget squeezes, Council funding has been severely reduced. As for Traders, it tends to be the small independents that dig deep; from donations and decorations, to free snacks at the switch-on. The big boys? Not so much – and believe us, we’ve asked! Banks, supermarkets, coffee chains and similar take money out of our high streets and give little or nothing back. There are some notable exceptions, however, we’re grateful to PJ Livesey and Siemens for their 2018 donations. Christmas in Didsbury is on a tightrope, held up by goodwill and small business. As it is, it’s not sustainable.
So what can we do about it?
Plenty! 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 also like meaningful collaboration and constructive community engagement, because Christmas belongs to all of us. We can’t do this on our own.
Please spare a bit of change for Didsbury’s Christmas Fund – you’ll see collection tins in some shops in Didsbury Village, or you can donate online via Paypal.
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.
Got any good ideas? Skills we can use? Experience of raising sponsorship?
You know what to do. Didsbury needs you.