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Cambridge actress will light up the market at 'Big Switch-on' this year

By Ben Comber

The switch-on in Cambridge attracts hundreds of families. Picture: Keith Heppell
The switch-on in Cambridge attracts hundreds of families. Picture: Keith Heppell

The event will support children's charity NSPCC's Light Up Christmas for Children campaign.

Who's on stage?

Compered by Heart FM, proceedings start at noon with 30-minute swing set from Cambridge University’s student big band, Fitz Swing

Fulbourn School Choir takes to the stage at 12.40pm

Arts school, Razzamatazz at 1.10pm

Cambridge busker Tom Korni at 1.40pm

The Pauline Quirk Academy at 2.10pm

Sing! choir at 2.40pm

Dance group Splitz at 3.10pm

Groove Collective, 3.40pm

The Cantabrigians, 4.20pm

Katherine Kingsley, 4.50pm, with switch-on at 5pm

Souls Café Gospel Choir round off the event at 5.15pm

The ‘Big Switch-on’ of the festive lights in Cambridge’s Market Square this year will be supported by the Cambridge Independent and deliver a poignant message in support of the NSPCC’s ‘Light Up Christmas for Children’ campaign.

Cambridge is one of 10 regional cities across the UK partnering with the charity to raise much-needed funds for services such as the Childline helpline and website.

NSPCC supporter and former Hollyoaks actress Katherine Kingsley will officially flick the switch on Sunday, November 19, as part of a lively line-up of festive family entertainment organised and funded by Cambridge Business Improvement District (BID), in partnership with the Cambridge Independent for the second year and backed by Heart FM.

The actress, who was born and raised in Cambridge and went to Parkside School and Long Road Sixth Form College, said: “I am thrilled to be supporting the NSPCC’s Light Up Christmas for Children Campaign and look forward to seeing the wonderful lights in my beautiful home city of Cambridge. Christmas is such a wonderful and exciting time of year, especially for children.

“However, it is important to remember that, sadly, not every child will have a brilliant time at Christmas. For some, the very opposite is true. One in 20 children in the UK have been sexually abused – but, with your support, the NSPCC can help break the silence and give them a voice.

“That’s why I am encouraging everyone to make a donation to the charity so that services like Childline are accessible to all young people reaching out for help.”

Childline is contacted by a child every 25 seconds, with only three out of four calls answered due to a lack of resources. A £4 donation could pay for a counsellor to answer the missed call – and it could just be the call that saves a child’s life.

There will be a bucket collection at the event in aid of the NSPCC and people can also donate £4 to the charity by texting LIGHTS 12 to 70800. (Text costs include your donation of £4 plus your standard network rate. The NSPCC will receive the entire donation.) ‘Light Up Christmas for Children’ sparkling star badges will also be available to buy from selected outlets across the city.

Paul Brackley, editor of the Cambridge Independent, said: “The Christmas lights switch-on is a fantastic community-spirited event which has become a firm festive fixture on so many people’s calendars. As a community newspaper, the Cambridge Independent is proud to be involved and sponsoring the event for the second year running.”

The Grand Arcade, Lion Yard, The Grafton and independent traders will additionally be hosting activities.


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