Waddington Street Centre has been named as the official charity partner of Lumiere 2021 and will benefit from a significant donation to its 40th anniversary appeal to raise funds for a new minibus.

The independent North East mental health charity, which offers a wide range of informal educational activities and support services based on individual needs and aspirations, will receive a donation of at least £5,000.

The donation will come from half of the proceeds of this year’s Lumiere Gala Dinner, which is being held at Ramside Hall on Wednesday 17 November, and will help the Waddington Street Centre take another step closer to its £40,000 fundraising target.

Throughout its 40th anniversary year the centre has been running a series of fundraising activities, ranging from triathlons and pre-loved item sales to bake sales and quizzes. It also has the backing of a number of local businesses and organisations, including Milburngate on Durham’s riverside, which is being developed by Arlington Real Estate and Richardson.

The Waddington Street Centre is also contributing to Lumiere by producing lanterns that will form part of one of the light festival’s landmark installations.

Members of the Centre took part in a workshop to produce the lanterns that will be added to ‘City of Lights, City of Stories’, which will transform College Green into a glowing cityscape.

The Waddington Street Centre is among a number of community groups from across County Durham working with Artichoke and installation designers The Lantern Company to build an imaginary city of illuminated streets, houses and grand architectural wonders.

Ali Lee, centre manager at The Waddington Street Centre, said: “We are exceptionally proud to be the charity partner of Lumiere. It is such an important and highly anticipated event for our city, and we’re delighted to be part of it.

“The generous donation we’re receiving is amazing and will be a real help as we aim for our target to buy the minibus that will allow us to take our members on trips that will aid their mental health.

“Our staff and members really enjoyed the lantern making workshop and can’t wait to see their creations glowing on College Green.”

Created by Artichoke, the UK’s leading producers of art in the public realm and commissioned by Durham County Council with additional support from Arts Council England and a host of additional funders and supporters including Durham University, Lumiere will run from Thursday 18th – Sunday 21st November 2021.

Sarah Coop, Artichoke Development Director, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with Waddington Street Centre as Lumiere’s chosen charity this year, and the opportunity to support the important work they do, as well as to have been able to offer their members the chance to take part in making one of the festival installations.”