Big hearted households from across the country are making their homes shine bright with beautiful Christmas light displays this festive season, helping to spread joy while raising vital funds for our expert end of life care.
A glittering display of goodwill
In Peterborough, David has transformed his Longthorpe home into a glittering display of goodwill for the seventh year in a row to raise vital funds for Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice.
While just outside Cirencester in Gloucestershire, Kelvin and family have lovingly created a magical winter wonderland for the eighth year running to raise vital funds for Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice.
In Bedfordshire, Christmas mad couple Anne and Paul have turned their garden into a charming Christmas wonderland in Broom for the third year in a row for Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice, which local residents can book a visit to see.
While over in Oxfordshire Ben has set up a beautiful, sparkling lights display in Crowmarsh to fundraise in memory of his dad, Malcolm, who received care from our nurses this year.
Glowing penguins, snowmen and nutcrackers
In Peterborough, David’s winter wonderland includes glowing penguins, snowmen and nutcrackers, festive Christmas trees, and thousands of sparkling multi-coloured lights.
New for this year is a magical fairy tale setting in David’s Victorian greenhouse, complete with a blanket of snow and a stunning Snow Queen.
David said: “It all started when I put one light up on the roof – reindeers with a sleigh – one Christmas. It has gone from there and got bigger; you could say it has snowballed! The front changes every year, it is never the same. I’m always buying new things.
“It is a lot of hard work – it takes me around two weeks to put all the lights up. I hope people get a lot of enjoyment out of the lights. When you get a lovely comment, it makes it all worthwhile.
“I support Sue Ryder because they cared for my dad. He had cancer and was cared for at another Sue Ryder hospice. They did so much for him, before he passed away. I now support Thorpe Hall Hospice, which is my local hospice here in Peterborough, in his memory.”
Sledging snowman and a festive Dachshund
In Cirencester, Kelvin and his family have been adding more twinkling lights and decorations each year to their display in memory of wife, mum and grandmother, Sandra.
The lights include 76 festive silhouettes, 15 Christmas acrylic figures, 12 inflatables, 10 reindeers, 9 sets of twinkly lights, 4 sets of icicle lights, a kaleidoscope projecting Christmas patterns, a parachuting Santa and 17 3D items including a train, 3D see-saw, 3D snowman, Father Christmas, an elf, a sledging snowman and a festive Dachshund!
Following their annual shopping trip for more lights, the big hearted family have lots of new additions this year including a new nativity scene section of lights with Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, Shepherds and a star above too, and they've had to extend their framework higher for the display.
Debbie has been helping her dad, Kelvin, create this year’s display. She said, “It’s become a real highlight for local children who get very excited when they start seeing Dad put up the lights. I think Dad loves seeing their faces light up too! The display is really starting to take shape now and we can’t wait to switch on the lights for the first time to show everyone.”
Kelvin added, “We love seeing people’s smiles as they come to see our Christmas light display, and it means even more to us to see those smiles during the ongoing pandemic.
“My wife Sandra always loved the Christmas lights, so for us this seemed the perfect way to raise vital funds for the hospice while doing something in memory of our much loved wife, mum and grandmother at Christmas too.”
Santa’s on his sleigh while the reindeers play
Ben’s beautiful lights display has grown year on year, with he starting to support Sue Ryder last year. It includes thousands of sparkling stringed lights, Christmas trees, shining reindeer and a Santa on his sleigh. The lights shine brightly in a special tribute to his father, Malcolm.
Ben said, “My father passed away during the summer following a courageous fight with cancer. It was his wish to remain at home and not go to a hospice! Thanks to the amazing staff at Sue Ryder this was made possible.
“As a family we cannot speak highly enough of all the staff, in particular the nurses, who not only looked after Dad and treated him with such dignity, but also took the time to check that we were ok. Having said this, words don’t do them justice. As we embark on our year of fundraising we want to give back to Sue Ryder for all they have done! Truly very, very special people.”
Shining stars and radiant reindeer
Anne and Paul's display in the village of Broom near Bedford includes glowing reindeers, sparkling snowmen, festive Christmas trees and several hundred thousand sparkling multi-coloured lights.
New for this year is a giant ten-foot square illuminated Christmas present that people can walk through as they enter the garden.
Paul said: “We’ve lived in Broom for around nine years and we’ve always put up Christmas lights. It was just for ourselves at first, and then someone suggested we should raise money for charity. That’s how it all started.
“For the past three years we have raised funds for Sue Ryder. We chose St John’s Hospice as it is our local hospice. It is well-known in the local area – many people know someone the hospice has cared for.
“It is hard work putting all the lights up – the first light went up at the beginning of October and we switched them on at the end of November. But it is really rewarding to see people’s reactions to the lights and watch their faces light up – they are magical, especially for families.”
Raising vital funds and creating special memories
Emma Leiper Finlayson, National Community Fundraising Lead at Sue Ryder, said: “What beautiful tributes and a wonderful way to spread joy this Christmas, while helping our hospices to continue to be there when it matters.
"At Sue Ryder we believe that the end of someone’s life is the most important time of their life. Our care teams do all they can to make room for the things that matter to a patient – like spending time with loved ones, sharing stories, jokes and memories and filling their final days with love.
“It’s truly fitting that these magical light displays right across the country will be helping to raise vital funds so someone can experience as much comfort and joy as possible at the end of their life, while creating special memories for local families this Christmas too.”
With figures showing every 4.5 minutes someone in the UK dies without the specialist end of life care they need, we are asking people to back our appeal to help us be there for more families when it matters.
Donations to the appeal will enable us to deliver our expert and compassionate palliative care. Helping to manage symptoms as well as give advice on the practicalities, so that patients and their families can place their focus on filling their final days together with love.
Make every last moment count this Christmas
At the end of life, every moment together is precious. Your donations will help provide essential care for families this Christmas and fill someone's final days with love.