Carols on the Doorstep set to ‘save’ Christmas!

Carols on the Doorstep is set to unite the people of Shropshire and will take place on December 16, repeated on Christmas Eve, supported by BBC Radio Shropshire. Organisers are hoping the idea will catch on countrywide and raise money for a host of different charities.

My Shrewsbury magazine has joined forces with Shropshire Festivals to organise the event. They are asking everyone to sing carols on their doorsteps to bring the county together in festive spirit.

BBC Radio Shropshire will broadcast a set list of carols and Christmas songs to help everyone keep in time – or streets can choose to organise their own live ‘doorstep’ music, all socially distanced of course.

“With our lights switch-on and carols in the square cancelled this year, along with all other ‘in person’ festive events, we wanted to create something for people to look forward to and to create a sense of togetherness without risking anyone’s health,” said Katy Rink, editor of My Shrewsbury magazine who came up with the idea for Carols on the Doorstep.

Katy Rink added: “We are determined that Covid won’t be the Grinch that steals Christmas. Everyone has tried so hard to stay positive over the past six months, but it feels like heads are beginning to dip, as we see a long winter ahead.

“We’d love to bring a blast of positivity to Shropshire with Carols on the Doorstep. Music in particular has been very hard hit by the virus – people are missing social connections, wellbeing and shared creativity of regular group playing and singing. We’ve seen all kinds of creative responses to this online. We hope that Carols on the Doorstep will keep music live this Christmas and bring joy to families and neighbours, in the same way that we enjoyed Clap for Carers. Social distancing is obviously a key priority – but a trumpet at the end of the street can make a lot of noise!”

My Shrewsbury is working with the award-winning events company Shropshire Festivals to help get the word out. Beth Heath, their aptly named ‘Director of Fun’ said: “Obviously all of our major events have been cancelled this year, so it’s brilliant to be able to do something to support our local community and spread a bit of Christmas joy! The charity sector has also struggled due to so many fundraising events being cancelled this year. The idea is that streets can choose to collect for their chosen charity, whilst in Shrewsbury, we’ll be collecting for the Shrewsbury Food Hub to help combat the growing problem of food insecurity.”

“Our key message is that Christmas is definitely not cancelled. Like everything else this year, it has had to diversify! We are asking everyone across the country to get on board and share the idea – and of course join with us on December 16 at 6pm and again at the same time on Christmas Eve.”

Carols on the Doorstep is sponsored by DM Recruitment and Morris Care, and supported by BBC Radio Shropshire.

The Doorstep Carols website www.doorstepcarols.co.uk will have information on raising money for charity, resource packs for making music and artwork by Shrewsbury illustrator Saffron Russell.

To get involved, or volunteer to co-ordinate your street or neighbourhood, visit www.doorstepcarols.co.uk

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