THE woman who saved last Christmas in Taunton is appealing to the public to help put the magic in the festive season again this year.

Kelly Durdan, pictured, wants people to organise fundraising events to pay towards lights, decorations and a switch-on day street fair.

She is also asking businesses to contribute towards the estimated £50,000 costs of the celebrations and displays.

Ms Durdan set up a team who collected £15,500 from local firms after Taunton Deane Council and Taunton Town Centre Company said they had no money for the lights or a switch-on ceremony in 2012.

She has already secured pledges of donations for 2013 and Taunton Deane Council is matching the £10,000 it added to the pot last year.

Ms Durdan decided to act after it was announced that Taunton would not be lit up last Christmas.

“We had six weeks to make sure we got some lights and a switch-on,” she said.

“The response was fantastic, but we can’t leave it to the last minute again.

“We’ve got over six months to organise it this year, but it won’t be easy.

“I want to bring it back to the community, for people to organise fundraising events like coffee mornings or Body Shop parties, as well as asking businesses to contribute.

“I want people to be proud of our town centre so when the lights are switched on they know we’ve all made a difference and given Taunton the Christmas it deserves.”

Ms Durdan is organising a Taunton Sparkle masquerade ball at Taunton School on Saturday, June 29 – details to follow.

She praised the efforts of everyone who donated to last year’s appeal, including the Deane, the DLO and Taunton Town Centre Company, which is again running the street fair on switch-on day.

Do you have any ideas to help light up Christmas in Taunton, want to raise money or be part of Ms Durdan’s initiative? Contact