Twinkling fairy lights, glittering reindeer, and inflatable snowmen lit up the dark nights of December as houses across the North West took part in ‘Deck the Halls’ fundraiser for a Lancashire children’s hospice.
From Blackburn to Cottam, and Westhoughton to Morecambe, 27 families from nine towns and villages lit up their homes and businesses to raise vital funds for Derian House in the run-up to Christmas.
A map of the light displays meant that families could take the Deck the Halls tour and donate – and they did in hordes!
Now the coins have been counted, and the charity has revealed that donations soared beyond the £10,000 target, hitting almost £12,000.
The huge sum is even more impressive considering the cost of living increase which have seen the price of electricity rising rapidly.
The money raised will help Derian House look after 400 children and young people with life-limiting illnesses across the North West, and their families.
One home in Leyland pulled out all the stops for the charity’s Deck the Halls event – with lots of bright lights and festive figures taking stage.
Joan Mills, who recently celebrated her 70th birthday, said: “Lighting up my house for Derian House is my way of supporting a brilliant local charity and also thinking of those families that have lost someone precious.
“However, it’s also my way of remembering those I have lost over the past few years. My husband Malcolm passed away in 2020, and then my mum in March last year. My daughter lost her fiancé three years ago on New Year’s Eve. Before that, I lost my sister and my dad. So when I light up my home, I’m doing it all for them really.
“I love to have lots of lights up, even when Christmas is over! It just brings that bit of brightness to those dark winter nights. Even with the current cost of living crisis – it didn’t stop me. Deck the Halls is only once a year and it gives my family, friends and neighbours a lot of pleasure. I’ll definitely do it again – despite having lost an eight foot inflatable snowman somewhere along the way!”
Kerry Pritchard, Community Fundraiser at Derian House, said: “This year’s Deck the Halls event has been a huge success and on behalf of all the families looked after by Derian House, I just want to thank everyone who put in so much effort – we simply couldn’t have done it without you.
“It has been great to see communities come together to switch on their lights and shout about what we do here at Derian. We are grateful to everyone who took part and raised vital funds to help us care for our children.”
Although care for families is free, it costs Derian House Children’s Hospice £6million to run services every year. With just a small amount of this coming from government funding, the charity relies on the generosity of its supporters for 70p in every pound.