Man behind crowd-funded Christmas tree in line for award

We've got a tree, now all we need are some lights... members of Ryhope Community Spirit Sue Clark, Ron and Cris Hope and Chris Young are hoping they soon raise enough cash to decorate the Christmas Tree on Ryhope Village Green.

We've got a tree, now all we need are some lights... members of Ryhope Community Spirit Sue Clark, Ron and Cris Hope and Chris Young are hoping they soon raise enough cash to decorate the Christmas Tree on Ryhope Village Green.

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A COMMUNITY which came together over Christmas could be in line for more cheer.

Chris Young, a leading official with the Ryhope Community Spirit group, has been nominated for a Sunderland Echo What’s On Where award.

It comes after the whole community came together to ensure that, for the first time in decades, Ryhope village green was spruced up with some festive fauna.

In just five weeks, the residents of Ryhope raised £3,000 to pay for a Nordmann Fir tree to be transported from Kielder Forest. Funds also paid to light the tree and for public liability insurance so that it can be a focal point for festive activities.

Chris said he was delighted to be nominated but he added: “It is not me, It is the community that deserves this.”

The group is doing so well that it has now raised almost £5,000 in eight weeks.

Ryhope Community Spirit is now planning to do even more work in 2015.

Chris added: “We will have things like Easter egg hunts, help with the carnival, and a summer fete.

“In January, we are going to plan things throughout the year.”

He said the group had “brought the whole community together which is really good,” Chris added: “It would be nice to win this award for the whole community.”

The nomination for Chris said: “Ryhope Community Spirit is a group of local residents who have come together to form a committee to achieve Chris’ inspirational vision for Ryhope village to have an annual Christmas tree which will be a focal point for community events and carol services during the lead-up to Christmas which would embrace the community spirit of the residents.”

The awards are held in association with our weekly entertainments guide, Wow 24/7, and aim to reward the elite in everything from restaurants to children’s venues, takeaways to parks and community areas, and hotels to the best shopping experience.

•Enter your nominations here