Burnley church's blackout in support of foster care charity

The Lights Out event sought to draw attention to the need for foster carers in the North West.
The Lights Out event sought to draw attention to the need for foster carers in the North West.

A Burnley church has thrown its support behind a foster family awareness campaign alongside some of the North West’s best-known buildings by turning out its lights.

St John the Evangelist in Worsthorne joined some of the region’s best-loved buildings - including the intuTrafford centre dome, the Liver Building, Blackburn Cathedral, and the Macron Stadium - for Child Action Northwest's 1200 Lights Switch-Off.

The evening was held to support of the 1200 Lights campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the need for more North West foster families.

The switch off, which took place on Thursday, November 24th at 8.30pm for one minute, was timed to coincide with the end of a fundraising concert at Blackburn Cathedral, which fell into darkness as the final note was sung.

Children’s charity CANW (Child Action Northwest), which provides foster care, targeted youth support, and emotional health services in the borough, also called on Burnley residents to turn off their lights.

The Blackburn-based charity is now appealing for more people in East Lancashire to sign up to be foster carers, with figures showing that more foster carers are needed in the region than in any other part of the country, and almost as many as Yorkshire, Humberside and the North East put together.

CANW, who run foster care services across Lancashire, hoped the symbolic switch off will encourage more people to consider fostering and help to bring light into the lives of hundreds of children who are in need of a caring family.

Sue Cotton, CEO of CANW, said: “The support we’ve had from the public and from some of the North West’s most well-known landmarks has been amazing, and we’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who joined us for the 1200 Lights switch off.

“More than 1000 extra foster care places are needed right across the North West. That means a lot of children and young people are still waiting for a loving home.

"We wanted to draw attention to this need by turning out the lights on homes and landmarks across the region.

"We’re all used to seeing the warm, welcoming light of home and of the well-known buildings in our hometowns at this time of year and by making them temporarily ‘vanish’ we wanted to encourage people to think about the light, comfort and hope of family that’s missing from many children’s lives.

“At a time of year when we’re looking forward to sharing happy times with family and friends we hope 1200 Lights will make people really stop and think about whether they can help a child by becoming a foster carer.”

To find out more about fostering with CANW, call 0800 634 5300 or go to http://www.canw.org.uk/about1200/