Brownies and Rainbows bid for hat-trick of wins at Turning Tides Christmas Tree Festival

Designs are being finalised and competition is fierce for the annual Turning Tides Christmas Tree Festival, as the young winners from the past two years look to the possibility of a hat-trick.

Children from 2nd Southwick Brownies and 3rd Southwick Rainbows have won best-dressed Christmas tree two years in a row and they are keen to shine again.

2nd Southwick Brownies and 3rd Southwick Rainbows have won best-dressed Christmas tree two years in a row

2nd Southwick Brownies and 3rd Southwick Rainbows have won best-dressed Christmas tree two years in a row

They have their work cut out for them, as there are 26 companies and groups booked for a spot at the festival and each is expected to produce a magnificently-decorated tree.

As part of their prize, the Brownies and Rainbows were given a workshop by Turning Tides fundraising staff this week. Possibilities were discussed but the final ideas are being kept under wraps until the festival.

Rose Cook, unit leader, said: “We have all met and shared our creative ideas and are excited about the festival at the end of the month.

“It was a lot of fun last year and truly brings our community together. Of course, it would be great if we can claim the hat-trick and win again.”

3rd Southwick Rainbows working on decorations for this year's tree

3rd Southwick Rainbows working on decorations for this year's tree

The festival takes place at St Mary de Haura Church in Shoreham town centre on Saturday, November 30, and Sunday, December 1. Adur District Council chairman George Barton will officially open the event on the Saturday at 10am.

Visitors will vote on the best dressed tree, plus there will be craft and cake stalls, face-painting and festive biscuit decorating.

Entertainment will be provided by local choirs, though more singers and musicians are sought for the Sunday, and donations of cakes and bakes would be welcomed. Contact Moira Gardner, community fundraiser, on 01903 680740 or email moira.gardner@turning-tides.org.uk

A key event in the fundraising calendar, the festival is expected to attract hundreds of residents. Last year, more than £2,400 was raised, helping people in the area who were homeless or at risk of becoming homeless over the harsh winter months.