During December 2022, people from far and wide flocked to Westfield just outside Hastings, to admire the spectacular light show which had been put together by the 92-year-old local organizer Ken Munday. Having been in charge of the lights since 1975, he was still actively involved in this dazzling Christmas display this year. As well as being a delightful sight for visitors, the lights also served a charitable purpose – with proceeds going towards Veterans Growth based in Westfield and Charity for Kids which supports residents in Hastings and Rother. Unfortunately, what was meant to be an advantageous event for all turned into a battle against Mother Nature as snow and ice followed by two weeks of rain made it difficult to reach their target of £10,000 or $12,400. However, the organizers were insistent that aside from money matters, this free event was all about bringing joy and delight especially for the kids who adored the snow machine.
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The Westfield Lights Team extends their gratitude to the villagers of Westfield for their support, patience and engagement in setting up the lights. Ken is also especially thankful of his small team of volunteers who have put in countless hours to make it all possible – showing just how much effort goes into the display. They are also thankful for the backing they have received from local businesses, media outlets, and donations from generous individuals – without them this wonderful spectacle would not be achievable. As for this year’s charitable cause, proceeds were donated to two local charities; Veterans Growth which offers horticultural therapy for veterans suffering from mental health issues and Charity for Kids which provides specialized equipment assistance to disabled, sick and terminally ill children across Hastings and Rother. Although the weather sometimes ruined their plans, they managed to raise £116,163.40, which is approximately $144,000, since its inception – with many more smiles brought by the snow machine that was a hit among children in attendance. The Westfield Lights Team is already looking forward to seeing everyone again next year! Those who wish to donate can still do so through their page at www.justgiving.com/team/westfieldchristmaslights2022
What is Charity for Kids?
Charity for Kids was founded in 2011 to support disabled, sick and terminally ill children – and their families – across Hastings and Rother. It provides specialized equipment for children who are not eligible for similar services through the health services, or cannot afford to purchase the necessary items on their own due to their high costs. The charity is dedicated to making a positive impact on the lives of these children, by providing them with the help they need in order to lead a better life.
What is Veterans Growth?
Veterans Growth is an organization that offers horticultural therapy to veterans who are facing mental health issues. It aims to provide a calming and peaceful green space where veterans can come to be amidst nature and learn new horticultural skills. It also works with communities, charities, local authorities and government departments to ensure that these services are available for those who need it most.
Where is Westfield?
Westfield near Hastings, East Sussex is a bustling seaside town that offers a wealth of attractions and activities. Travelers can explore the historical sites in the area such as Battle Abbey or Bodiam Castle. Battle Abbey is an abbey located in the town of Battle, East Sussex. It was founded by William the Conqueror to commemorate his victory at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Today, it is open to the public as a tourist attraction. Visitors can explore the ruins and other points of interest such as The Great Gatehouse, a 14th century gateway, and St. Martin’s Chapel, a 12th century chapel. The abbey also offers stunning views across East Sussex from its manicured gardens and parklands. Bodiam Castle is a 14th-century moated castle located in East Sussex, England. It is a Grade I listed building, and considered to be one of the most picturesque and recognizable landmarks in the UK. The castle was built by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, a former knight of King Edward III, to defend against French invasions during the Hundred Years’ War. It features a large courtyard, four circular towers, and several turrets. Inside the castle are many rooms such as the great hall, kitchen, chapel, solar, dungeon and chapel alley. They can also visit the nearby beaches for fun in the sun with their families. For those looking for more adventure, there are theme parks and other attractions to explore. The local shops offer delicious dining options, while nearby towns and cities bring culture and entertainment to Westfield near Hastings.