Children's charity aims to light up Lancashire to raise vital funds this Christmas

A children’s hospice is challenging people to go all out with their Christmas decorations this year to help raise money for seriously ill children.

Sunday, 15th November 2020, 7:00 am
Ian Clifton's Christmas display

Derian House Children’s Hospice, based in Chorley, is launching Deck the Halls – a campaign to spread light and cheer across the county to mark the end of a difficult year.

The charity is asking the local community to create show-stopping festive displays on the outside of their homes and workplaces, to raise money and help look after the 400 babies, children and young people with life-limiting illnesses it cares for from across the North West this Christmas.

A map featuring all the best displays will be created so families can go on a tour of the area to see the best Christmas displays and donate.

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Ian Clifton, has been decorating his Morecambe home for 25 years, with hundreds of people paying an annual visit to what is now referred to as the ‘Lincoln Close Illuminations’ featuring a light display, winter wonderland garden and a garage transformed into a Nativity scene.

Ian said: “Normally we start the preparations in September and aim for the display to be bigger and better each year. This year we’ve had to put measures in place to ensure the display is Covid-safe, including a one-way system with reindeers leading the way.”

The 74-year-old has raised more than £75,000 for Derian House over a quarter of a century.

He added: “I am fortunate to have healthy children but realise this isn’t the case for everyone. It warms my heart to bring the community together to support such a worthy cause.”

Chelsea Crossey, event coordinator at Derian House, said: “Untangling your fairy lights is a small step to making a big difference this Christmas and we’d love to see local schools and businesses taking part as well as homes. All you have to do is sign up to the trail, create a JustGiving page for your display and then have fun decorating!”

It costs Derian House Children’s Hospice £4.8m to run services every year, and with less than 10 per cent of this coming from government funding, the charity relies heavily on the support of the local community.

The coronavirus pandemic has meant a difficult year for the charity, with an expected loss of around £500,000 due to the forced cancellation of fundraising events and the closure of its charity shops.

To get involved with Deck the Halls, please email [email protected]