The organisers of Haddenham Festive Trail have been overwhelmed by the positive response from local residents. The Trail is a community collaboration in aid of Haddenham Community Junior School PTA and Haddenham Christian Aid, supported by the Christmas Tree Festival and Haddenham Scarecrow Festival. One of the Trail’s co-ordinators, Francesca Flaxton, said “We have collectively received an incredible 162 entries, but as some of the entries are groups of neighbouring households, we estimate that nearly 200 homes are taking part. And of course, hundreds of other households will also be lit up for Christmas, so it promises to be a dazzling display!”
The Festive Trail starts on Saturday 12th December and will be officially launched by a village-wide “Switch On” at 4pm, which will be broadcast LIVE by Red Kite Radio on 102.7 fm. Festival entrants will be asked to join in the Countdown and switch on their lights together at 4pm for maximum impact! It is hoped that other households in the village will also join in by switching on their lights at the same time.
The “Switch On” will be led by 11 year old Aimee Farr, from outside her home in Woodways. Aimee, who attends Haddenham Community Junior School, has had an especially tough year and her family want to make this Christmas really special.
Aimee’s Mum, Charlotte explains “Aimee was born with long-term life-threatening heart condition, which requires multiple life-saving surgeries throughout her life to survive. Aimee had her third open heart surgery in June this year, a seven hour high risk operation carried out at Great Ormond Street Hospital right in the middle of the first UK Lockdown. It was an extremely difficult time before, during and after, as Aimee had to shield from the beginning of March. The operation was high risk but successful thanks to all the amazing staff at GOSH. It took 3 months, of pain, healing and physio before she fully recovered, and she had to be shielded again due to the added complication of having to fight off pneumonia as a result of one of her lungs collapsing. Through it all we were overwhelmed from the positive messages of support from family and friends but also teachers, teaching assistants and all Aimee’s friends from Haddenham Community Junior School. Aimee had a lovely warm welcome back when she returned to school in September and has been happy and well back in school ever since”.
Charlotte continues “As you can imagine it’s been a complete roller coaster of a year for us and Aimee, and we feel an extra special Christmas is needed to celebrate first of all Aimee being with us, and secondly that she’s now happy, well, brave and strong again”.
The Haddenham Festive Trail will be open until 31st December. Trail maps will be available online at Haddenham.net from 12th onwards. Limited paper copies of the map and list of entrants will also be available at Blooming Fruity, Haddenham Garden Centre, Bradmoor Farm, Haddenham Co-op and at 7 Dovecote. All these venues will also display an A3 laminated map and list which people can photograph on their own devices.
Haddenham Junior School PTA members Cassy Childs, Caroline and Lucy explain: “There will be an opportunity for everyone to choose their favourite displays with an online vote and a prize for the three most popular. We are very grateful to Haddenham Garden Centre for generously donating prizes. We will also encourage the sharing of photos of displays on our social media channels for Haddenham residents who are not able to get around the Trail”
To vote, send the numbers/names of your 3 favourites by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by text to 07763 551602 by 31st December.
St Mary’s Church Christmas Tree Festival representative Sharon Smith said: “We are very pleased to support the Festive Trail, the main purpose of which is to shine a light and spread joy amongst our community, but we are also hoping to raise funds jointly for Haddenham Community Junior School PTA and Haddenham Christian Aid”
Mary Miller from Haddenham Christian Aid added “We know that 2020 has been a very difficult year for many families, so we want to encourage everyone to take part, whether or not they are in a position to make a donation. Voluntary donations are very much appreciated and will be divided between our two organisations”.
Optional donations can be made as follows:
• Via our fundraising page: https://www.peoplesfundraising.com/fundraising/hcjsfestivetrail
• By bank transfer to HCJS PTA Sort Code: 30-90-38, Account No: 00330739, reference: Trail
• By cheque, made payable to ‘Christian Aid’ to 6 Long Furlong, Haddenham, HP17 8DQ
More details will be displayed on posters throughout the village and on the Trail Maps.