RESIDENTS are getting into the festive spirit – with the many beautifully decorated homes popping up across the town turning St Helens into a winter wonderland.

As well as trying to lift some of the gloom surrounding the pandemic, many people are supporting Willowbrook Hospice, which has been struggling during the coronavirus crisis.

The charity is asking the community to decorate their homes for Christmas and donate to their fundraising page if they are able to do so.

With public events unable to take place this year to stop the spread of coronavirus, St Helens Borough Council is also supporting Willowbrook’s latest project – ‘Decorate and Donate’.

The campaign asks residents and businesses across the borough to dress their homes and premises with lights and decorations, making a donation to the hospice if they can.

The project comes on the back of the successful St Helens Scarecrow Festival, started by Eccleston resident Amanda Fieldhouse, which ran over the Halloween period, receiving great public support.

More than 850 creative scarecrows – from princesses and unicorns, to TV’s the Royle Family – raised an impressive £23,211 for Willowbrook.

As part of the project, Willowbrook Hospice Corporate Director, Alun Owen, will join the Mayor of St Helens, Paul McQuade, in switching on the Christmas lights in St Helens town centre, with pre-recorded performances from schools and singers going out on the council’s and Willowbrook’s social media channels at 7pm on Friday, December 4 for residents to watch from the comfort of their own home.

Christmas lights will also be switched on in all wards across the borough.

Willowbrook Hospice Corporate Director, Alun Owen, said: “Over the last few months, everyone at Willowbrook has been overwhelmed by the way our community has supported each other as we all deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope the decorate to donate initiative gives a much-needed lift that we could all do with this year.

"Winter is the time that many cultures celebrate with festivals of light, so we hope as many people as possible join us in lighting up St Helens and send that feeling of gloom far away.”

To make a donation to Willowbrook, visit:

If you have decorated your home, please send pictures in via the box below or by emailing They will be considered for publication in a special feature in next week's newspaper.