The festive lights on Oxford Street switched on just before the UK's second lockdown, and this year's they come with a heartwarming pandemic-related message.
The 27 LED light curtains running along the West End's premier shopping street, burst into glittering life on 2 November. Alongside the usual messages of goodwill, each week the lights will star the name of an everyday hero — someone who's gone that extra mile in 2020, to help those affected by the pandemic.
The first hero to be awarded the honour was NHS Volunteer Responder, Anis Ali from Morden. Ali was one of the first volunteers to sign up to the cause, completing a staggering 733 tasks since March while also continuing his day job as a train driver.
Having the chance to get to know people in my community and support the NHS at this difficult time has been the best opportunity I’ve ever had and I will continue to do support for as long as I am needed. I would love to encourage other people to volunteer.
The names of the heroes make up part of a poem, To London With Love, which will festoon the street for the rest of 2020. In partnership with Royal Voluntary Service (RVS), Oxford Street is selling To London With Love t-shirts, with 100% of profits going to RVS.
Though current lockdown measures mean we can't go and see the lights in person, the hunt for heroes is still going ahead — with a new name up in lights every week over the festive season.
You can nominate someone you know, on the Oxford Street website.