Dewsbury Rams mascot Roger the Ram attended the Dewsbury festive get together and Christmas lights switch on, on the 1st December.

Roger posed for pictures with fans and the general public as Dewsbury turned their Christmas lights on. There were various Christmas type activities going on and overall it was a great event.

Dewsbury Rams media manager Steven Downes said: “It was brilliant that Roger could attend the event, he has done this for many years and again it is a sign that the Rams want to connect with it’s local community.”

Jax Lovelock Business and Community Engagement Manager who helped to co-ordinate said the event was a great success and that they will be looking to build on it for next year.

She said: “This year’s event built on the small community event we managed to hold at short notice last year, and with very little funding. Creative Scene (Arts Council Creative People and Places project for North Kirklees) came on board in April 2018 to produce this event with the support of Dewsbury Park Mansion Community Hub.

“The Dewsbury Chamber of Trade worked and Cllr Eric Firth worked on funding bids and so the money needed to make the event happen came in. This resulted in us being able to put artists into three Dewsbury Primary Schools for lantern making workshops, and we were also able to engage other local artists, including Bryan Tweddle to work with members of the Howlands Centre. Street theatre, a lantern parade, light art installations and a fire drawing were also made possible, along with new music being created for pupils of Musica Kirklees.

“Businesses and community groups were able to take part, and we’re looking at how we can build on this for next year. On this basis, and given it’s only the second year that local volunteers and organisations have worked together, the event was a huge success.

“We know there’s more to do for next year and we’re already pulling in feedback. The council are unable to fund the event so we’ll have to find the money again, and we’ll need to work with the council on the actual lights as they award and pay for the contract. If Dewsbury is going to have a Christmas Lights Switch On Event to be remembered, we all need to pull together to make it happen.”

Lovelock also spoke passionatley about the need for the local community to use the Rams as a beacon for local sporting pride. Being the Town’s only semi-professional sports club, Lovelock believes the Rams have a huge part to play in the local community.

She said of the Rams mascot Roger the Ram: “Roger the Ram is brilliant! He joined us last year and brought a smile to everyone’s face. He’s tireless in his touring of the town and absolutely knows how to cheer people up and get the crowd going. People love to see him and have their photos taken with him, which not only promotes the event but Dewsbury Rams too. It’s difficult to express just how important he is!

She continued: “It’s incredibly important that we connect, that all local community groups connect. As austerity bites, its local folk who will need to find ways of caring for each other and creating fun, relevant and engaging entertainments and activities. Sports are essential in this as they provide a wonderful combination of exercise, team spirit, community engagement and entertainment.

“The Rams team also gives young people something to aspire to and support, to feel proud of. Pride in our town and it’s achievements has taken a hit in recent years, but local sporting organisations like the Rams do a grand job of restoring and cultivating belief in ourselves!

“The Ram’s are a very important part of our town’s history and future, the more we can rally behind sports teams like the Rams the better.”

Finally Lovelock had a Christmas message for all local people and the people who support the Rams, she said: “We live in divisive and broken times, where selfishness, corruption and greed get in the way of good. More than ever all people need to find ways of coming together to love, care for and support each other, to build stronger communities, to raise aspirations and build dreams.

“My big mantra for our wonderful town is to change the negative narrative into a positive narrative. It’s time to start creating beautiful stories of sharing, caring and success to radically change social and economic prospects for the better. We need to do away with fear, to learn about each other, and find ways of working together. The Rams have always played a huge role in this vision with their courage and tenacity, and continue to do so, waving the black, red and amber as they go for Dewsbury.”