Reporter Jonathan White, Crewe
Photo caption: l-r Graham Witter - Nikki Wrench (Relationship Manager, The Donna Louise Children's Hospice) - Tracey Powell (Care Co-ordinator, The Donna Louise Children's Hospice)
Graham Witter, aged 21, who is a BA (Hons) Business Management degree student at Manchester Metropolitan University (Cheshire Campus), setup hundreds of Christmas lights where he lives at Carters Green Cottage in Weston to raise money for charity.
His Christmas light display took place every day from 1st to 28th December 2015. The display covered farm buildings, a garden and an adjacent yard and contained a combination of rope lights, LED lights, animated 3D figures, 3D inflatables, along with background Christmas music. There was also a small wooden Santa’s Grotto and even a life-size Santa's sleigh. Santa himself even made an appearance every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and the last few days before Christmas. It took Graham six weeks to set it all up.
Graham raised £1,000 in 2013, £5,720 in 2014 and an incredible £10,280 in 2015. Thus, he has raised £17,000 in total over the past three years. For the third year running all the money will go to The Donna Louise Children's Hospice http://www.donnalouisetrust.org/ , who provided respite care for his teenage sister Jessica. Tragically, Jessica passed away on New Year’s Eve.
Nikki Wrench, Relationship Manager at The Donna Louise Children's Hospice, said, "We are really proud to work with Graham and the Witter family and their Christmas light display. 2015 was particularly poignant as Jessica passed away on New Year's Eve. All the money raised from the display will be in her memory."
Graham said, "I would like to thank all the local community, support from many local businesses and to everybody who has helped me to fundraise this amazing sum of money. This charity means an awful lot to me as they have supported our family for several years, and have been a lifeline for care and family help in many difficult circumstances. My sister who had multiple disabilities and needed 24 hour care peacefully passed away in December, and I am dedicating the 2015 light display in her memory and this money is being used to purchase equipment to help many local children. I will continue to fundraise for this amazing charity, as I believe after using the much loved services they offer that this money is being put to good use and I am helping them to keep the doors open. It would be great to see you all coming back this year for what will be another fantastic light display, and I hope you will tell all your family and friends too! I'd like to wish everybody a happy and healthy year!"