A family's Christmas lights tribute became further poignant after the charity they were raising money for looked after their devoted mum and great grandma.

Jacqueline Sparrow died on December 27 at home aged 81, having received end-of-life care from St Elizabeth Hospice for an undiagnosed illness.

Earlier that month, her daughter Julie Stout and her husband Neil had switched on their Christmas lights tribute in memory of their daughter Jessica Walden, who died after giving birth to her second child.

Little did they know that when they started the fundraising for St Elizabeth Hospice they would find themselves in need of its help.

Paying tribute to her mum, Mrs Stout said: “She was so brave the last few weeks of her life.

"Sometimes you hear that they are waiting for permission to be able to go. I sat with her in the early hours of the 27th and said 'it's ok mum, Christmas is done. It's ok if you want to go.'

"I asked my dad to come and get her and hope they're all together, mum, dad and Jess."

Mrs Sparrow was born Jacqueline Mulley and lived in Gloucester Road, Nacton.

It was at work as a dressmaker she met her husband William George Sparrow, known as Bill.

Mrs Stout said: “She was a bit of a bookworm, and she enjoyed needlework.

“She made her own wedding dress and the bridesmaid dresses. She would do everything that needed mending, machine work, needle and thread.

"My dad was on a painting and decorating job where she worked and they passed on the stairs. She caught his eye and they went out on a date.

"They got engaged on her 21st birthday.

Ipswich Star: Jacqueline Sparrow married her husband George after meeting on the stairway at her work.Jacqueline Sparrow married her husband George after meeting on the stairway at her work. (Image: Julie Stout)

"She was very well dressed. She loved to have her hair and her nails done. She wouldn’t ever wear the same thing out, she would change. She liked to be colour coordinated. Everybody used to say what a kind-natured lady she was."

The couple, who lived in Bramford for 32 years, married at All Hallows Church on October 3, 1964, and celebrated their golden wedding anniversary.

Mr Sparrow died seven years ago from pancreatic cancer, spending one night at St Elizabeth Hospice - another reason why the family wanted to support the trust with the lights.

Mrs Stout said the family could not have done it without their "hospice angels" during her mum's care.

The light display in William's and Jessica's memory raised £978.70 and donations from Mrs Sparrow's funeral will also be donate to the hospice.