This month, three landmarks in the North of England will be lit up Orange for the Chocolate Orange Challenge, an annual campaign organised by Chris Lamb, from Rainford, to honour his son Elliott who passed away in 2010 at the age of four.
Blackpool Tower, St Mary;s Lighthouse in Whitley Bay and the Steve Prescott Bridge will all be lit up Orange on the 15th December, the culmination of the Chocolate Orange Challenge, and “Make A Difference Day”.
Chris set up the nationally-recognised Chocolate Orange Challenge in 2011 following the loss of his four-year-old son Elliott the previous year to a condition called Congenital Cytomegalovirus.
While Elliott was in Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Chris bought a chocolate orange as a thank you to one of the physiotherapists for their kindness, care and compassion. Word soon got around among other medical professionals, and Chris ended up buying more and more every time Elliott was in hospital.
Following Elliott’s death, Chris decided he wanted to do something positive to cherish his memory, and so came up with the idea of collecting as many chocolate oranges to be shared with hospital staff nationwide.
Chris Lamb told us more about this year’s campaign “I wanted to make it different this year and celebrate lots of local charities as well as trying to help others in a similar position at Christmas.”
“Its a difficult time for a lot of people so I wanted to focus on this positive campaign to encourage others to cherish their own loved ones too, especially those who have lost children but also parents and siblings.”
“The Newcastle lighthouse lighting is really special because a colleague who has helped with the chocolate oranges for a few years lost her brother last year and is collecting them this year in his memory so I hope it brings her and others in the north east some comfort too.”
“In 2016 approximately 9,000 Chocolate Oranges were distributed, which makes a total of about about 23,000 since we started. I am hoping that we will reach 30,000 this year which will be incredible if we do.”
“Make a difference Day is about doing something or a good deed you wouldn’t normally do or donating a chocolate orange to our campaign, volunteering for something or just cherishing a loved one, telling their story on social media.”
“I really want to encourage people to do something positive whatever it is on this day. The town hall event is really to celebrate the season, remember loved ones and to celebrate the local charities who make a difference too.”
Read more about the event at the Town Hall on the 15th here.
Earlier this year Chris appeared BBC North West Tonight to talk about the Chocolate Orange Challenge
Drop off points for Chocolate Oranges