This month (November 2022), we’ve officially launched our 14th annual Tree of Light Christmas campaign, which represents ‘a bright beacon against loneliness’ in the city.
The switch-on events for our festive trees, which feature lights commemorating loved ones and special causes, take place on Saturday, December 3 and Sunday, December 4.
Lord Mayor of Southampton
Our Manager, Annie Clewlow explains: “We’re thrilled to announce our 14th annual Tree of Light campaign and that we have two, free, real-life switch-on events coming up this year, which we’d like to invite everyone along to.
“These promise to be celebratory occasions and represent a bright beacon against loneliness in our city and we’re delighted that the city’s 800th Right Worshipful Mayor of Southampton, and first The Right Worshipful Lord Mayor of Southampton, Councillor Jacqui Rayment will be joining us to flick the switch at both events.
“Our trees allow people to remember a lost loved-one at Christmas or to mark something special. They also support our charity, which helps befriend people city-wide in neighbourhoods and communities at grassroots level.
Hundreds of lights
“Hundreds of sponsored Christmas lights, commemorating loved ones and special causes, will cover one of the beautiful pines in Woolston Millennium Garden and a tree at St. Mark’s Church, Archers Road.
“We’d love for people in the city to join us for our free Tree of Lights switch-on on Saturday, December 3 at 5pm in the Woolston Millennium Garden or at St Mark’s Church on Archers Road on Sunday, December 4 at 5.45pm. Everyone is welcome regardless of whether they make a donation or not.”
Woolston Millennium Garden
Before the charity light-up event in Woolston Millennium Garden, there will be crafts and refreshments from 3pm in St. Mark’s Institute and refreshments afterwards too. Entertainment includes carol singing led by the Rising Stars.
St Mark’s Church on Archers Road
The second light-up at St Mark’s Church on Archers Road will also see the Lord Mayor officiate at 5.45pm. Prior to this, from 4pm, those who attend can enjoy a nativity, craft activities, carols and refreshments. Both events are free. No booking is required.
Annie adds: “Loneliness and isolation are becoming more and more of a problem for people of all ages. Along with our band of Communiteers, who give their time and support on a voluntary basis, we’re working hard to eradicate what has been dubbed society’s ‘silent epidemic’ through our various Good Neighbour initiatives.
“We’re hoping, once again this year, that lots of people will join us to get together and remember loved ones and to celebrate or recognise special causes. It’s also an opportunity for anyone, who wishes to support us, to make a donation, so we can continue to help people who would like to see a friendly face on a regular basis for a natter or to assist them with tasks such as shopping.
“Anyone who would like to sponsor a light is asked to make a suggested minimum donation of £7. The names of those being remembered will be recorded in our remembrance book and published on our website. People can also send photographs, short poems/verses or a tribute for inclusion in the book.
“We’re very grateful to Woolston Millennium Garden, St Mark’s Church and Spectrum Signs, for their on-going support of our event again this year. It’s hugely important in our annual fundraising and social calendar.”
How to sponsor a light
Full details of how to sponsor a light are available here.