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Dereham community gets behind Christmas lights appeal

PUBLISHED: 10:38 31 January 2017

Biscuit met with Dorian Sibley from Dereham Tiles and Carpets to receive a cheque for £2,000 towards the Christmas Lights appeal. Picture: Michael Lyons

Biscuit met with Dorian Sibley from Dereham Tiles and Carpets to receive a cheque for £2,000 towards the Christmas Lights appeal. Picture: Michael Lyons

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A fund-raising campaign to make Dereham a Christmas destination has received a “phenomenal” response, say the organisers, bringing in over £6,000 in its first two months.

Carnival mascot Biscuit receives a cheque from Tesco in Dereham (Carrah Saunders, left , Lisa Johnson, right) towards the Christmas Lights appeal. Picture:  Michael LyonsCarnival mascot Biscuit receives a cheque from Tesco in Dereham (Carrah Saunders, left , Lisa Johnson, right) towards the Christmas Lights appeal. Picture: Michael Lyons

The Dereham Carnival team vowed to put the wow into the town’s Christmas lights display for 2017 after many felt that once again the display failed to deliver enough sparkle last year.

A Pound For Pound appeal for donations has now reached over £1,300, with the Carnival match funding up to the first £1,000.

There have also been two large donations from businesses - Dereham Tiles and Carpets has donated £2,000 and Dereham Tesco has given £1,000.

Together with an £800 donation from last year’s Carnival the total raised so far for this year’s lights is £6,167 which will be put with money from the town council.

Scenes from the Dereham Christmas Lights Switch on 2016. Picture: Matthew Usher.Scenes from the Dereham Christmas Lights Switch on 2016. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Dereham Tiles and Carpets owner Dorian Sibley said he wanted to get involved as his business is in its 20th year of trading.

“We wanted to give something back to the community to say thank you for years of custom and support,” he said.

“Donating to the Christmas lights seemed a great way to do this and we hope other businesses follow our lead and get behind a positive cause for our town.”

Carrah Saunders, Tesco Community Champion, said they were also excited to be involved in such a community based project.

Scenes from the Dereham Christmas Lights Switch on 2016. Picture: Matthew Usher.Scenes from the Dereham Christmas Lights Switch on 2016. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Carnival vice-chairman Pete Jessop said: “The response to the lights appeal has been phenomenal.

“Almost £4500 in from the public and local businesses in two months is amazing and just shows that community power is out there and we are confident that this will continue.

“We appreciate every £1 that has come in, whether it be from an established national chain, a local independant business or a member of the general public.

“We know with good lines of communication and transparency we can work with the town council and get things moving in time for Sunday, December 3.”

Carnival mascot Biscuit met with Dereham Tiles and Carpets’ Dorian Sibley and Tesco’s Carrah Saunders and customer experience manager Lisa Johnson to receive their cheques.

Still time to donate

Go to www.derehamcarnival.co.uk/christmaslight2017 or call the Carnival HQ on 01362 690969.

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