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Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington

Leader's Blog  

Councillor Brenda Warrington, Executive Leader of Tameside Council

Christmas Celebrations and Charity in Tameside

Thursday, 10 December 2020

As we enter the final weeks of 2020 it has unfortunately become clear that, because of the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing local restrictions, our usual Christmas celebrations will not be taking place in Tameside this year. But while we may not be able to gather together, we’re still making a special effort to spread some festive cheer.

One of the highlights of our Christmas events has always been the light switch-ons in all our towns, which culminates with the famous Lantern Parade. In its place for this year, our Cultural Services have put together a magical celebration of music, dancing and crafts based on the 12 Days of Christmas. Every town has been given its own theme, and once every day from 1st December videos have been posted on the council’s Facebook and YouTube channels highlighting the creativity of Tameside’s residents.

So far we’ve seen the primary school children of Hyde and Hattersley help with the creation of a “Partridge in a Pear Tree” art installation, and what happened when we invited residents in Dukinfield to make their own crochet French Hens. More than 600 people have gotten involved with the project, and the finishing touches will be added by putting a tree with lights in every town and the illumination of some of most prominent civic buildings.  

Carol singing is perhaps the most loved Christmas tradition around the world, which is why the Tameside Music Service has also worked closely with our community engagement team and local charity The Sylvia Swiffin Trust to organise the Big Christmas Sing. The event aims to invite residents to listen and sing along to a carol concert recorded by our talented local schoolchildren and students. I hope it will give us all the opportunity to spread some seasonal cheer while continuing to protect ourselves and others. The Big Christmas Sing will be broadcast on Tameside Radio at 103.6FM on Sunday 13 December at 3pm, and song sheets have been distributed throughout the borough, particularly to those in hospitals, care homes and others who may feel especially isolated.


As always during the Christmas period, our thoughts should turn to those who are less fortunate than us. In 2020 this has become more important than ever. So many in Tameside and the UK as a whole continue to suffer the consequences of the terrible coronavirus pandemic, whether directly because of ill health or indirectly through the grave economic fallout.

There is still time to donate to Action Together’s annual Tameside Toy Appeal, which brings Christmas gifts and magic to local children and young people living in poverty. An incredible 2,000 toys have been donated so far, and if you want to contribute before the deadline tomorrow you can do so by either sending money through our JustGiving page, or by dropping off new and unused toys and gifts at any of our children’s centre, the ASDA in Ashton or one of the community drop-off points, the locations of which can be found here.


We’re also supporting Active Tameside’s “The Great Christmas Takeaway” campaign, which has set out to make sure that nobody in the borough goes without a meal in the run-up to Christmas Day. Options include chicken curry and rice, mince and vegetable hotpot, and vegetarian or vegan pasta, and families with children will also be given a Christmas selection box. All meals will be freshly prepared and delivered cold in microwavable containers for hygiene reasons, and deliveries will be made from 21-23 December by Active Tameside’s volunteering staff members.  The deadline for applications is 18 December, so please make sure you go onto Active Tameside’s website here to make sure you don’t miss out. 

There’s absolutely no doubt that 2020 has been the most difficult year that many of us have ever faced. So much of what we have took for granted has been thrown into turmoil and uncertainty, but amidst all of this we’ve taken hope from the resilience and solidarity shown by our key workers and communities. Let’s work together one last time this year to make sure that nobody, whoever or wherever they are, feels left behind in Tameside this Christmas.


Posted by: Executive Leader

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