Covid heroes chosen to perform Christmas switch-ons in South Tyneside in tribute to pandemic efforts
Covid heroes will flip the switch on Christmas in South Tyneside in tribute to their efforts during the pandemic.
The countdown to Christmas is set to get off to a spectacular start in South Tyneside next week as festive lights switch-on events take place across the borough.
Previous switch-ons have seen celebrities take centre stage.
But this year organisers have chosen people who served their communities through covid to perform the honour as a thank you for their efforts.
:: Dr Mickey Jachuck, a consultant cardiologist at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, has been a key supporter of the borough’s Beat Covid campaign, helping to explain how the vaccine works and address people’s concerns.
More recently, he was among the NHS heroes to be named as an official starter for this year’s Great North Run, in recognition of the efforts of NHS staff during the pandemic.
Dr Jachuck will join Mayor Councillor Pat Hay and Mayoress Jean Copp on stage for the South Shields switch on event, on Wednesday, November 24, from 5pm to 6pm, in the Market Place.
The event will also feature a range of entertainment including music from talented local performers including Jen Stevens & The Hiccups, South Shields Serenity Singers and Choirmaster. Customs House favourites Dennis and Achoo will also be making a special appearance. BBC Newcastle’s Alfie Joey will compere the event.
The pair will help to perform the Jarrow town switch on, on Friday, November 26, at Jarrow Town Hall in Grange Road, from 4pm to 5pm.
The evening will also feature entertainment from Jarrow Cross C of E Primary School choir, magic from Mr Merlin and a brass quartet.
:: Hebburn schoolboy Oliver Nicholson delivered little notes and treats to his elderly neighbours to help keep up their spirits during the first lockdown period. These small acts of kindness led to him being crowned the winner of the #LoveSouthTyneside Awards.
Oliver will join the Mayor and Mayoress on Monday 29 November, for the switch on event in Fountains Park in Station Road, Hebburn.
The event, running from 4pm to 5pm, will include festive songs and carols from St Aloysius RC Primary School choir and a brass quartet as well as funfair rides and a magic performance from Mr Merlin.
Colourful characters, street performers and entertainers from Creative Seed will be mingling with the crowds at each of the events and Santa along with one of his elves will also be making a special appearance.
Cllr Hay said: “The Christmas lights switch on events are real highlights of Christmas in South Tyneside and we are delighted to see them returning in their traditional format after what has been a difficult period for everyone.
"Our colourful Christmas displays are spectacular, creating a wonderfully festive atmosphere across the borough and are sure to get the festive season in full swing.
“We are especially thrilled to be welcoming some very special people to join us on stage this year.
"Having our local heroes kick starting the festivities is a fitting way of thanking them and acknowledging the exceptional work they have done in our communities during some very difficult times. I’m sure the people of the Borough will show them the appreciation they deserve.”