January Christmas lights campaign lifted the spirits

Pictures of residents houses in St Ives 

Pictures of residents houses in St Ives - Credit: Calm Town

A campaign to lift the spirits of people living in St Ives has seen some people leaving their Christmas decorations up for the month of January. 

The movement was started by former St Ives Methodist minister Matt Finch, Tim Drye and Phil Pope, who created CALMtown, an organisation that aims to help the mental wellbeing of those in the area. 

CALM which stands for (Campaign Against Living Miserably) is an organisation that wants to encourage people to talk about their feelings, if they are struggling.  

CALMtown cake 

CALMtown cake - Credit: Barratt Homes

Reverend Matt Finch said: “January has been a struggle to say the least, with a third nationwide pandemic lockdown, we encouraged residents of St Ives to keep their Christmas lights up to bring a glimmer of hope in the darkness. 

“Some people have also left their Christmas Trees up and other decorations too.  

Revd Finch says the movement spread to other villages, including Houghton, Wyton on the Hll, Somersham, Needingworth and Bluntisham.  

He said: "The community has been amazing in supporting this movement, it really does make a difference when you walk down certain streets at night and there is just this big glow of lights.  

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One house located near the top of St Ives has a giant colourful star that can be seen when driving up Houghton Road (A1123.) 

Revd Finch completed a charity bike ride to rais funds for CALMtown and Barratt Homes have also donated £1,000 to show their support. 

“With the pandemic ongoing, a huge number of people are suffering mentally, so the donation really came at an important time.," he said.

Andrew Swindell, regional managing director at Barratt Homes Northampton, said: “We are so pleased to be able to support CALMtown and the fantastic work they are doing. 

“The pandemic has affected everyone’s mental health, so it’s great to be supporting a charity that is tackling these issues. 

“It is important to recognise and support local charities and organisations who help the communities near our developments.”  

To find out more about CALMtown, you can visit: www.calmtown.org/

INFO: If you are doing anything to support other people during this pandemic lockdown, we would love to hear from you. Email: editor@huntspost.co.uk.

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