A Christmas community event that has run for nearly half a century has gone virtual for the first time.

Whimple Carol Festival, which has taken place on Christmas eve for the past 45 years and has supported Devon Air Ambulance (DAA) since the beginning of its service, is a highlight of the Whimple community calendar, with up to 200 people annually attending.

Having raised over £2,500 since they first started supporting DAA, the Whimple Carol Singers were keen to host the event again this Christmas despite the current circumstances, and so launched the Whimple Virtual Carol Festival.

A real community effort, there are 3 carol videos available to watch on the Whimple What’s On Facebook page and YouTube, featuring local singers and musicians ranging from 8 to 82 years of age, which have so far raised over £200 via their Just Giving page.

The next virtual carol video is due to be released on Saturday 19 December via the Whimple What’s On Facebook page, with the event culminating in a live performance on the Facebook page on Christmas Eve.

This year’s virtual festival is not only enabling the community to come together and continue to support DAA, but helping them to reach an even wider audience, which they are hopeful will boost their fundraising.

Emma Palmer, event organiser said

We’ve collected for Devon Air Ambulance since it started. It is such an amazing service, which any of us could need at any time. This year, of course, we can’t run the event as usual. We really wanted to involve the community in what is for so many, all they’ve ever known on Christmas Eve, and give as much as we can to DAAT. Grappling with the technology…has been really challenging for some and we’re very grateful for their efforts.

Sally Hilton, DAA Head of Fundraising added

This is a fantastic example of a community coming together and thinking creatively to overcome the current obstacles. Community support such as this is invaluable to the future of the service and we’re extremely grateful to the Whimple Carol Singers for the effort they have put in to ensure their annual fundraiser can go ahead.

To support the Whimple Virtual Carol Festivals fundraising please visit their Just Giving page.

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