Dazzling Christmas light displays have popped up on homes across Lancashire – all to raise money for children at Derian House Children’s Hospice.
The charity has put together a special map of the very best light displays around the county and invites supporters to take the “Deck the Halls” tour and donate to the charity that cares for 450 families each year.
Friends Matt Fishwick and Alan Climpson, from Astley Village in Chorley are both taking part and lighting up their homes with spectacular displays this year.
The pair joined forces and held an event where Santa officially turned on the lights last weekend, giving their neighbours in Judeland a night to remember and raising over £700 for Derian House in the process.
Dad-of-two Matt said: “Alan and me have been good friends and neighbours for years and we both love decorating our houses for Christmas. It all began when we decided to do a switch on one weekend – there were just four of us.
“This year was our third light switch on for Derian House – the best yet. There was music and we raffled off some wine, gin and some other nice bits. Plus the kids got to go and see Santa in his grotto in the garage.
“It’s funny you know, Alan always seems to disappear when Santa arrives. But he always comes back for the party later once Santa has gone back to the North Pole. Alan and me both keep buying more and more lights for our houses – it does get a bit competitive.
“We do it for Derian House because it’s on our doorstep. It’s a local charity that looks after local families in the area – it’s a really good cause. Even with energy prices rising, we couldn’t not do it. It brings the community together.”
Alan, also a dad-of-two, said: “On Judeland, we always have street parties whenever there’s a national event or celebration. It’s great to get people out – especially at this time of year – because you don’t really get to see your neighbours much in winter.
“We set up our light displays over a month. It’s worth all the time and effort. We love to provide something for the community and raise some money for a good cause. So many people come to see the lights – and who doesn’t enjoy meeting Santa on his night off?”
Last December saw homes, schools, workplaces and clubs untangle their fairy lights to raise money for Derian House Children’s Hospice – with the total hitting over £13,000.
Kerry Pritchard, Community Fundraiser at Derian House, said: “Thank you to everyone who is going all out with their Christmas decorations this year – they all look incredible.
“Matt and Alan did a fantastic job and it was amazing to see how many people rocked up to see them switch on their lights!
“While care for families is free, it costs Derian House Children’s Hospice £5.7million to run services every year, so we rely heavily on the local community – just like everyone on Judeland. Thank you so much to you all!”
You can see all the festive light displays involved by following along the “Deck the Halls” map.