News story

Downing Street Christmas tree lights switched on

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Families with children who have life-limiting illnesses were among those who watched a special performance by X Factor finalists.

The Prime Minister has been joined by finalists of this year’s X Factor to switch on the Christmas tree lights outside 10 Downing Street.

David Cameron welcomed the finalists to Downing Street and led a group of school children in a countdown before turning on the lights.  He then handed over to X Factor judge Nichole Scherzinger who announced that the finalists would be singing one of her favourite Christmas carols - Silent Night.

Families with children who have life-limiting illnesses were among those who joined the carol singing led by Jahmene Douglas, James Arthur and Christopher Maloney, who are taking part in next weekend’s final of  The X Factor. The families are supported by the Together for Short Lives, the UK charity dedicated to children’s palliative care.

Proceeds from this year’s X factor Winner’s single will be donated to support Together for Short Lives which helps 49,000 children in the UK with life-threatening or life-limiting conditions.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

Together for Short Lives is  a fantastic charity which helps make a real difference to seriously ill children and their families.  It’s great that they will be benefitting from the  X Factor charity single again this year and I enjoyed meeting with some of the children they help and their families and carers before we turned on the Downing Street Christmas lights.  I hope the support from the X Factor helps Together for Short Lives and the charities they support reach even more families.

Barbara Gelb, CEO of Together for Short Lives said:

We were delighted to join the switching on of the Christmas lights which was a very special evening for the children and families.

These are ordinary people leading extraordinary lives, facing daily challenges to get the help and support they need. This visit will give them memories they can cherish forever, and we are grateful to the Prime Minister for his generous invitation.

External site: Together for Short Lives

External site: The X Factor