Villagers have whip round to light up crowd-funded Christmas tree

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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LET there be light – say Ryhope residents after bringing some Christmas cheer to their village green.

The village landmark is now home to a 35ft tree after the community clubbed together to raise £1,300 for the festive attraction.

All they need now is to spruce it up with some sparkle.

The campaign will continue with events to pay for lighting the tree in time for December.

Chris Young, one of the leaders of the Ryhope Community Spirit campaign, said: “In the past few weeks we’ve raised £1,300 for the campaign, including £200 in an anonymous donation.”

So far the money has paid for buying the tree from Kielder Forest, transporting it and the crane to put it in place. ACT Construction provided a concrete base for free to help the cause.

“We just need money to pay for lighting and public liability insurance now,” said Chris.

It’s been decades since Ryhope Green had its own Christmas tree. Organisers of the campaign to bring it back say they hope it will now become an annual feature and would become a focal point for events, such as a carol service.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the support for this, it just goes to show how much it’s bringing the community together,” said Chris. “It’s 
also the first village people drive through off the A1080 into Sunderland, so it’s something other people can enjoy too.”

A fund-raising evening will take place on Saturday at The Guidepost pub in Ryhope from 8pm. It will feature a Tina Turner tribute act.

•For more information on how to support the campaign, search “Christmas Tree for Ryhope Village Green” on Facebook or follow the campaign on Twitter @RyhopeCommunity.