Selby Tree of Light Marks 21 Years

05 December 2019

A tree of light created to celebrate the lives of loved ones marked its 21st anniversary on Saturday at Selby’s official Christmas Lights switch on.

Members of Yorkshire Cancer Research’s Selby voluntary fundraising committee first organised the Selby Tree of Light in 1999. 

The community event has now raised more than £20,000 for the charity, helping to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer across the region.

Each year members of the public are invited to sponsor a light in memory of family and friends by making a donation. The names of sponsors and those remembered are recorded in a Book of Remembrance, which is available to read in Selby Town Hall. 

Members of the Yorkshire Cancer Research volunteer group in Selby

Kay Enion, secretary of the committee, said: “Following the death of my father in 1998, my aunt sponsored a light in his memory in Newcastle. We thought it was a brilliant idea, and decided to bring something similar to Selby.

“The Tree of Light has become a tradition for a lot of people. It’s a beautiful way to shine a light over the Christmas period for someone you’ve lost. It’s a nice feeling to know that you’re doing something to remember their lives during what can be a very difficult time.”

Guests were treated to a Christmas carol concert by Selby Abbey School Choir

This year, the lights were officially switched on by Selby mayor Michael Dyson following a carol concert by Selby Abbey School Choir. Hot drinks and mince pies were donated by Sainsburys and Tesco. 

Kay added: “It’s a real community event. The town council have been brilliant in supporting it over the past 21 years, from allowing us to use the space outside the town hall to providing the tree and the lights. We’d like to thank everyone who has helped support the vital work funded by Yorkshire Cancer Research to help more people in Yorkshire avoid and survive cancer.”

If you're interested in joining a local volunteer group in your area, click here.


About Yorkshire Cancer Research

•    Yorkshire Cancer Research was founded in 1925 and is the largest independent regional cancer charity in England (Registered Charity 516898). We are not part of a national charity. 
•    Current statistics show that 594 people are diagnosed with cancer in Yorkshire every week. 
•    Our mission is for 2,000 more people to survive cancer every year in Yorkshire. 
•    There are lots of cancer problems across the region that need to be tackled on a local level. We work in partnership with researchers, clinicians, the NHS, public health bodies and other charities to fund innovative work in four key areas: prevention, early diagnosis, treatment and clinical trials. 
•    For more information, please visit or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.


Nikki Brady, Senior PR Officer, Yorkshire Cancer Research. Tel: 01423 877228. Email:

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