There’s a magical winter wonderland at hospice supporter Dave Edwards’ house as he’s switched on 25,000 Christmas lights to raise money for two charities over the festive period.
Dave and his family have lit up their home and garden in Cheltenham Drive, Bromford, in the hope of collecting £1,000 for Birmingham’s John Taylor Hospice and the Alzheimer’s Society in Birmingham and Solihull.
The 26-year-old business owner has held his own illuminations for more than a decade and his sparkling displays have raised thousands of pounds for charities.
This is the third time Dave has chosen John Taylor Hospice to be a beneficiary of the extravaganza which features penguins, snowmen, reindeer, polar bears and, of course, Father Christmas.
It takes months of planning and weeks of installation to launch the spectacle which also includes a programmed light show in time to popular festive hits. The lights show is open until 1 January and all Dave asks in return is a donation to the chosen charities.
“I started working on it at the beginning of October but I don’t mind – it’s worth it because so many people enjoy it,” said Dave. “It all stems from a love of lights as a child. We used to go around and see people’s lights as a family and then we got one set, then two sets – and now we have 25,000 lights!”
Dave held his first illuminated extravaganza when he was just a teenager and each year he adds a little extra. And he’s keen for his hard work to raise money for local charities.
“This year’s I’ve chosen John Taylor Hospice and the Alzheimer’s Society, both for personal reasons because friends and family have been supported by them,” he said.
“We’d love as many people as possible to come and the lights will be on every day until 1 January. If we’re here, we will also open the garden so people can come in but, if not, you can still see them over the fence. The lights and music show is until 8pm and then the lights stay on until 10pm. I’m hoping to raise £1,000 this year so we’d ask everyone, if they can, to donate.”
John Taylor Hospice Community Fundraising Manager Kerry McGrath urged local people to support Dave’s efforts. “Dave does an amazing job putting the lights show together and raising so much money for worthy causes including his local hospice John Taylor,” she said. “We are really grateful to him for choosing to support John Taylor Hospice again – his hard work is helping us make all the difference for local families.”
Dave is one of many people across the city supporting John Taylor’s Gift a Christmas campaign which is aiming to raise £15,000 – enough to pay for all of the hospice’s services on Christmas Day.
As well as visiting Dave’s lights, people can support Gift a Christmas in a host of ways including buying hospice Christmas cards, holding a Christmas Jumper Day, organising a festive coffee morning or making donations in lieu of cards.
For more on the campaign see www.johntaylorhospice.org.uk/christmasgift
To view a video of Dave’s spectacular lights switch-on visit https://youtu.be/UOSweUwGblc