Published on: 25 November 2019

Blackburn Rovers star Darragh Lenihan was the guest of honour at the Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital Christmas Lights Switch On, on 25 November.

Darragh joined staff, patients, friends and family, as well as members of the public, for a festive afternoon hosted by ELHT&Me, the hospital’s official charity. The charity raises funds to improve patient environment and experience across East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust’s five hospitals – Royal Blackburn and Burnley General Teaching Hospitals, as well as community hospitals in Accrington, Clitheroe and Pendle. Darragh Lenihan is an ambassador for ELHT&Me, as it is one of Blackburn Rovers’ chosen charities for this championship season.

 The event featured performances from Blackburn People’s Choir and Darwen Brass Band, as well as an appearance from Father Christmas courtesy of Blackburn Round Table. Attendees enjoyed non-alcoholic mulled “wine”, hot chocolate and mince pies, and were able to browse stalls at the charity’s Christmas Fayre, which will run in the entrance of the hospital until 20 December (excluding weekends).

At 5pm, Darragh and ELHT’s Director of Communications and Engagement, Christine Hughes, pressed the ‘big button’ and lit up the hospital’s Christmas tree, and the lights decorating the main entrance. The lights used were kindly donated by Consort Healthcare.

“Thank you so much for joining us tonight, and thank you to everyone involved in putting this event together.  I hope you’ve all enjoyed it!”, said Christine.

“What a lovely way to start the festive celebrations. A huge welcome to Darragh, who is a fantastic charity ambassador for ELHT&Me. Please do think of us this Christmas and consider us for your charitable giving this year. I’d like to thank everyone for coming, and wish you a Happy Christmas!”

Before switching on the lights, Daragh also addressed the crowd: “Thanks for welcoming me here tonight, I’d like to wish every one of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! (ELHT&Me is) a great cause and does an awful lot of good for the community, and I’m proud to be an ambassador from the Club.”

The Trust aims to make the Switch On an annual event, bringing together the local community and sharing some festive spirit.

For more information on ELHT&Me, your local hospital charity, visit, or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, @ELHTandMe.