TWO lifelong Stanford le- Hope friends are bidding to raise £1,000 so the town can have a Christmas tree this year.

Lin Swords and Lydia Keys, both 50, were compelled to start a campaign after reading on Facebook the town might not have a tree this year due to a lack of funding.

While they have their sights firmly set on a tree to go in its traditional spot outside the Inn on the Green pub, the duo have also been putting together bunting to be draped along shopfronts in Stanford-le- Hope and Corringham.

Lin said: “Having a Christmas tree on the Green is a focal point for our community, but most importantly raises money for St Luke’s Hospice Tree of Life.”

The trees are normally provided by the Hope Committee, but reductions to funding and the council asking the committee funds the cost of lights this year, mean additional money is needed.

All money raised will go into the Hope Committee account, with the sole purpose of buying at least one tree.

Bunting triangles can be purchased by emailing ss17christmastree@gmail.

com. Finished triangles can be dropped off at Special Occasions or Creative Photography both in King Street.