Lantern festival lights up Sunderland community

The Southwick Lantern Parade gets underway.

The Southwick Lantern Parade gets underway.

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A COMMUNITY made sure its light was shining with an annual lantern festival.

Southwick came together last night for its yearly parade through the streets, with the Catch the Light lantern festival.

Started nine years ago, the event aims to unite the community and raise aspirations, with schoolchildren from Southwick Community Primary School, staff, parents and lots of organisations in the community making and displaying the lanterns.

Trish Stoker, headteacher at the Shakespeare Street school, said: “It is all about raising aspirations, rising to challenges and being prepared to work to succeed.

“We made the event our vehicle to engage families and children in raising aspirations.

“It was led by the community this year, and we held a number of evening workshops for people to come in and make their lanterns.”

She added: “We want to make sure the light of Southwick continues to shine.”

Over the years the festival has grown, and scores of people take to the streets to join the parade with their impressive lanterns.

Groups in the area which join in the fun include the nurseries, youth clubs, care homes, community centres and neighbourhood police.