A SOUTHAMPTON community has come together to fight loneliness and remember their loved ones. Once again, dozens of people flocked to Woolston to see the lights on one of the trees at the Millennium Garden be switched on.

The Daily Echo-backed initiative is organised by Southampton charity Communicare to help residents remember their lost loved ones and raise vital funds for the most vulnerable people in the city.

On Saturday afternoon residents sang Christmas Carols together along with the Rising Stars Community Choir before the mayor of Southampton, councillor Stephen Barnes-Andrews, switched the lights on.

Annie Clewlow, the manager of Communicare, said: "It's always a wonderful part of our year and for lots of people it marks the start of the Christmas season. It's a light shining across the city and reminds us how important it is we are here as lights in our community."

Ms Clewlow said the initiative raised £900 this year.

The money will support the charity which offers vulnerable people emotional and practical support.

"We are very mindful of the people who feel lonely at Christmas and we want to make sure that is minimised,"Ms Clewlow said.

As previously reported, in the past few weeks residents were asked to donate £5 to sponsor a light as part of the Tree of Light campaign.

"We hope there are still people putting their sponsorship forms in and we are happy to keep recruiting those up until December 21," Ms Clewlow added.

To volunteer or sponsor a light call 023 8021 6023.