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Llama launch for charity Christmas cards

Two llamas were invited. Credit: ITV Border

Tourist Information Centres in Cumbria have chosen an unusual way to launch their charity Christmas cards... by dressing up llamas.

Llamas Bilby and Rico were given reindeer-like reigns and accompanied by Father Christmas and Mrs Christmas at the Llama Karma Kafe in Penrith.

The Christmas cards are supplied by Cards for Good Causes, and 70p from every one pound goes directly to charity.

The unique partnership between Card for Good Causes and Eden District has been running for over 11 years.

We are delighted that TICs around the District continue to run this unique service as it allows local residents and visitors the opportunity not only to send season's greetings to friends and family but also financially support charities who work around the UK. For every pound spent, 70p goes directly to charity."

– Charlie Thornton, Tourism Development Officer at Eden Tourism

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Brunton Park to host thousands of carol singers

A crowd of 2,500 is expected at Carlisle United's Brunton Park on Sunday afternoon for a special carol singing event.

The Silent Night Carols service has been organised by HOPE Carlisle, which helps bring churches together to transform communities.

The service will give people the chance to celebrate Christmas as well as the opportunity to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the start of World War One.

The moment when the battlefield guns fell silent on Christmas Day in 1914 and soldiers from both sides sang carols and played football during a temporary truce, will also be marked.

The gates will open at 3pm on Sunday 14 December, with pre-service events running from 3.30pm, ahead of the service which stars at 4pm.

Festive fire safety warning

Cumbria County Council-Festive fire safety warning Credit: ITV Border News

The risk of dying in an accidental house fire increases by 50% over the festive season so firefighters are calling on Cumbria’s households to put fire safety at the top of their Christmas lists.

Last year there were 27 house fires between 15 December and 5 January compared to 17 from 15 January to 5 February 2014.

“While of course we want people to have a merry and relaxing Christmas and New Year, it’s important that everyone is aware of the potential fire dangers around the home during the festive season.

Just taking a few basic precautions though can prevent what should be one of the most enjoyable times of the year turning to tragedy.”

– Ian Cartwright, Cumbria’s County Council's Chief Fire Officer

Cumbria County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service is issuing the following hints and tips for festive fire safety:

  • Ensure you have a working smoke alarm installed on all levels of your home. Test your smoke alarms weekly and never remove batteries.
  • Never leave cooking unattended and avoid cooking while under the influence of alcohol. The majority of fires start in the kitchen so this is a high risk area. Always turn off kitchen appliances when you have finished cooking.
  • Never leave candles unattended. Keep decorations, cards and wrapping paper away from candles, fires, lights and heaters.
  • Ensure you switch off Christmas tree and fairy lights and unplug them before you go to bed, or leave the house. Check your lights conform to the British Standard (BS EN 60598).
  • Always use an RCD (residual current device) on outdoor electrical equipment. This safety device can save lives by instantly switching off the power if there is a fault and can be found in any DIY store.
  • Don’t overload sockets – ensure only one plug per socket. Always turn off plugs when they are not in use, except those that are designed to be left on, like freezers.
  • When dry, real Christmas trees can take less than a minute to completely involve a room in fire so it’s essential real trees are kept in a suitable stand that can be topped up with water.
  • Always use a fire guard on a real open fire to protect against flying sparks and hot embers. Also make sure embers are properly out before going to bed.
  • Make sure cigarettes are extinguished properly and never smoke in bed. Put it out, right out.
  • Check on older relatives and neighbours this Christmas to ensure their safety at this time of year.
  • In the event of fire - get out, stay out and call 999.
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