Scottish Christmas bell ringing event goes global and hits 80K followers in less than four days
A festive bell ringing event originally organised to take place only in Forth Valley has attracted over 80,000 people from all over the world in less than four days.
Lauren Sinclair, 36, from Falkirk, created the Facebook page on Saturday October 24 at 2.30pm with the goal of spreading cheer and ‘keeping Christmas alive’ by encouraging her community to stand on their doorsteps ringing bells at 6pm on Christmas Eve.
Within 24 hours, the page had hit the 20,000 mark and shows no signs of slowing down. In the last 24 hours the page increased from 50,000 to over 80,000 followers.
Ms Sinclair said: “It’s exploded. Originally it was just planned for Forth Valley because that’s where I’m from, but in less than one day we had people join from all over the world.
"We have people from Kuala Lumpur, from Australia, from America. It’s everywhere."
Ms Sinclair continued: “It's like going out and clapping on your doorstep for the NHS, we're now jingling our bells for the sake of Christmas spirit.
"Covid took a lot from a lot of people this year, and we're trying to basically show the virus that it's not winning. We are going to win this fight.”
Ms Sinclair said since the event has taken off she has done three radio interviews and has another two lined up for later this week.
She has spoken with a local minister who is putting the word out across the community to ‘get the church bells jingling’ too and is currently waiting to hear back from the Church of Scotland.
Ms Sinclair added that they will be posting a request on the page for anyone to come forward who wishes to donate a toy for a child in the children’s ward over Christmas, she has already received several offers from local people.
Ms Sinclair and Terri Niven, a friend who helped her set up the page, did not expect the event to get this much attention.
Ms Sinclair continued: “I thought maybe 1,000 maximum would join. I thought some people wouldn’t want to join a Facebook group and others might fancy a quiet Christmas. But everyone seems to be enjoying the idea that we’re doing something just a little bit different.”
Within hours of creating the page, Ms Sinclair was contacted by a local councillor who said they wanted to help fund the event.
She said: “A lot of people have lost their jobs this year, some people are still on furlough, so we understand that it is an expense that people can't necessarily afford, especially for
people that have three or four children.”
They plan to have a ‘big pile of bells’ to donate to care homes and people who want to join in with the festive cheer on December 24.
Ms Sinclair added that she understood coronavirus restrictions would probably still be in place but that they have designed the event to spread cheer safely.
She said: “We've had a lot of people asking us where we meet and I just want to make sure everyone knows it is on your own doorstep, at a reasonable time for young children to
still go out and jingle their bells for two minutes.
"It's just about keeping the Christmas spirit alive, that's all we're really wanting to do.”
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