The annual Christmas Light Switch On event at Trinity Square in Gateshead will take place virtually tonight (Friday 27th November 2020) in the form of a YouTube premiere at 5 pm – click here to view.
The programme, which features locally based amateur and professional performers, includes The Blue Light Choir, made up of emergency services and key workers, female Samba band The Bangshees and Trinity’s talent show winner 13-year-old Hannah Binns. Trinity Square will also launch its own Christmas fairy-tale ‘How the Grinchy stole the button’ based around saving the Christmas light switch on.
Trinity Square’s retailers were invited to star in the Square’s parody of, “I Will Survive” to help them raise their profile and spirits enabling them to have some fun after such a challenging year.
Despite the harsh trading conditions, the Trinity Square businesses have also dug deep and donated raffle prizes and bought raffle tickets in support of Tiny Lives and the Neonatal Unit at the RVI in Newcastle. A dedicated JustGiving page set up by the shopping centre enabled the general public to show their support.
Trinity Square adopted Tiny Lives and the Neonatal Unit at the RVI as its nominated charity three years ago. Since then, it raised just over £7,000 through a variety of family fundraising events, raffles and auctions.
As all planned events had to be cancelled this year due to COVID, the virtual Christmas light switch on is the only chance for Trinity Square to boost that total. Fundraising launched just over a week ago, and it has already reached £2,000, and it’s hoped that once the show airs, people will be motivated to donate via Text Giving.
Tony Pickering, Centre Manager, Trinity Square, said: “The annual Christmas light switch on has become something of a tradition since we opened seven years ago. Each year the number of spectators grows, and it’s an event the local community look forward to all year round.
“We weren’t going to let COVID spoil our plans, so armed with a COVID safe approach, we turned our live show into an online spectacular. The show allows us to still able to bring some Christmas magic to our shoppers and visitors whilst keeping them safe. It was crucial to us in the planning for this year’s events that we could include as many of our retailers and businesses as we could. It was also a great opportunity to raise more money for Tiny Lives, especially as we know charities have not had the level of support, they usually get due to so many cancelled fundraising events.”
Louise Carroll, Community and Events Fundraiser at Tiny Lives, said: “The support we have received from Tony, Sharron and all the team at Trinity Square over the years is amazing. They are always thinking of new ways to continue their support to Tiny Lives; if they have any family activities going on in the square, they always try to involve Tiny Lives, which we are very grateful for. Especially this year with fundraising being hit hard by COVID 19, we are so appreciative to all our supporters who have managed to fundraise or donate to Tiny Lives. We are really looking forward to watching the Virtual Christmas Light Switch On and hopefully the Grinch gives the button back! Again, we are so grateful to Trinity Square, all their retailers and businesses for allowing Tiny Lives to be part of this special evening. All donations will help us to continue our support to the families, babies and staff on the Neonatal Unit at the RVI.”
The countdown and premiere of Trinity Square’s ‘Saving Our Christmas Light Switch On’ can be followed at: www.trinitysquaregateshead.co.uk.
Donations to Tiny Lives can be made via the Trinity Square Christmas Lights JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/trinity-square-gateshead or by texting ‘donate Tiny Lives 11’ to 88802.