Sunderland villagers spent year fundraising to buy Christmas tree

Community Spirit is brought to Ryhope Village with the Deputy Mayor of Sunderland Coun Alan Emmerson and Mayoress Jan Emmerson joining Aaron-Jay Brown to officially switch on the Christmas Tree lights.
Community Spirit is brought to Ryhope Village with the Deputy Mayor of Sunderland Coun Alan Emmerson and Mayoress Jan Emmerson joining Aaron-Jay Brown to officially switch on the Christmas Tree lights.
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Villagers have spruced up their community with some eye-catching festive fauna.

Hundreds turned up to see the Christmas tree on Ryhope Village Green lit up for the holidays.

Community Spirit is comes to Ryhope Village at the  switch on the Christmas Tree lights, Aaron-Jay Brown joins Santa and his Elves on his sleigh.

Community Spirit is comes to Ryhope Village at the switch on the Christmas Tree lights, Aaron-Jay Brown joins Santa and his Elves on his sleigh.

Deputy Mayor of Sunderland, Coun Alan Emmerson, flicked the switch on the decorations on the 25ft Nordmann fir, which has been paid for by Ryhope residents.

Last year, the community rallied round to install the first Christmas tree on the Green for decades.

It proved so successful a committee was formed, Ryhope Community Spirit, to keep the campaign alive.

This year a host of events, including an Easter egg hunt at St Paul’s Church, has helped to raise £2,200.

Community Spirit is comes to Ryhope Village at the  switch on the Christmas Tree lights, St Patrick's RC Primary School choir sing carols.

Community Spirit is comes to Ryhope Village at the switch on the Christmas Tree lights, St Patrick's RC Primary School choir sing carols.

“It’s become such a fantastic community event that brings everyone together,” said Chris Young, from Ryhope Community Spirit.

He added: “Thanks to a grant from Gentoo and Sunderland Council, we’ve had electricity installed this year. We had to rely on solar power last year.

“It’s a great focal point for the community and will be the centre of events taking place throughout Christmas.

“It’s not just for Ryhope either, it stands at a gateway to the city for people coming off the A19 along the A1018.”

Baubles will be available to buy at St Paul’s Church shop and from Ryhope Community Spirit members to decorate the tree.

Forthcoming events taking place in Ryhope include: a fundraising night at The Guide Post on December 11, a community carol service on December 23 at 6pm, and a Christmas party on 
the same night at Ryhope Workingmen’s Club at 7pm, with music from The Star Jumpers.