In early October, News Shopper shared the story of a local community group called Progressive Welling who had come together to create a public crowdfunder campaign to make the town sparkle brighter this Christmas.

Their aim was to do something quite different from any year previous and were eager to open the fundraising up to the entire community, rather than relying on local traders to make up most of the funds.

Times are hard across high streets up and down the UK and Welling is no different – with Bexleyheath and Bluewater shopping areas providing great challenge to Welling’s traders.

The Crowdfunder was a bigger success than Progressive Welling would ever have anticipated.

They have been able to light up an incredible 25 extra lampposts compared to 2018 and have extended the boundary area of where the lights cover.

In previous years efforts were made to bring lamppost lights and a Christmas tree to the town, although this meant that on average it was one in three lampposts which could feel ‘lost’ on what is one of the longest high streets in Europe, added to that the tree has been repeatedly vandalised over the years.

Unfortunately, the contractor is no longer able to repair the tree vandalism free of charge, which means a magic pot of cash would be needed – just on the off-chance the tree’s lights are cut again, or the entire structure is pushed over.

To make it more impactful this year the group have focussed on lighting every possible lamppost within the boundary area and foregone a tree at Welling Corner.

The group have made a public appeal to ask for ideas on how they can add to the festivities next year with a Christmas tree – and suggestions on how to deal with the issue of vandalism to avoid paying out for repairs.

There is also huge news because the group, in collaboration with CC Events, have confirmed the first Welling Sparkle & Christmas Market to be held on November 30 between 11.30am-5pm which has only been made possible at the last hour thanks to the kind generosity of Freedom Centre International Welling who have gifted the use of their car park (next to Lidl) for the day.

There will be lots of stalls including craft items right through to mince pies and mulled wine, a raffle with fantastic prizes and lots of free activities for children including meet and greet Olaf plus Elf on the Shelf will be there to help post your letter to Santa.

The festivities will be rounded off with a parade to the Welling Corner for the Welling Light-up 2019.

This will (hopefully) be the first of many community events and Progressive Welling are urging you to turn up, enjoy the day and let them know what you think to it all.

If you would like more information on any of the above please contact, message via Facebook or text on 07736 542 017.