This year, Hackney’s festive lights switch on has been different. Whilst we couldn’t gather on the Town Hall steps to celebrate in the usual way, the Council turned on the borough’s festive lights to coincide with the end of the lockdown on 3rd December. A week later, the illumination of the Menorah, to signal the start of Chanukah, coincides with the release of the council’s seasonal film featuring a range of community contributors. Together, the lights, music and action aim to help raise some much-needed seasonal cheer. 

Rabbi Gluck, Reverend Al Gordon, Reverend Rosemia Brown, Mayor of Hackney, Speaker of Hackney Cllr Kam Adams each deliver a brief message to help us reflect on what’s been a difficult year for us all. Steelpan music and home-made lanterns from Morningside School light up the film alongside a Chanukah song sung by Simon Marks School Choir whilst young people from the Crib Youth Club show off their moves. 

Volunteers at Hackney’s Food Hubs also make an appearance reminding us of the extraordinary resilience of Hackney’s communities. The film also points to the fundraising efforts of the Hackney Festive Food Fund which is raising money and appealing for food donations to help make sure no one goes hungry this winter. 

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