Three families who light up their homes for others to enjoy each Christmas have won £500 each for their chosen charities after being voted the winners in our lights competition.

We teamed up with Collins Skip hire to find the best dressed houses in Suffolk this Christmas - and we asked readers to vote for their favourites.

Daniel Scott, 22, of Bury Road, Stowmarket, will be donating the £500 he won to the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

He said: "We have had Christmas lights on our house for years and we do them now in memory of my mum. She loved Christmas and all the lights, and the family aspect of it."

Lorraine Scott was 46 when she died suddenly in 2017, leaving Daniel and his four siblings.

Daniel, a software engineer, said they all come together with the lights. "It is a family effort, I do the programming and put them up, my dad is the foreman and sits on the driveway handing out instructions and my sisters also get involved."

He was delighted to have won and said: "Thank you to everyone who voted, it is nice to be noticed. It is why we do it, for other people to enjoy."

Great grandmother Jackie Orton, of Fletcher Road, Ipswich decorates her house herself - spending five weeks creating her winter wonderland, which runs inside and out.

"I love it, my husband helps with the two big pieces but I do the rest," said the 72-year-old. "I am praying I can still do it next year, and I want to go bigger and better, but my children ask how."

Mrs Orton, who has five children, 11 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, said she has never collected for charity before because she didn't want to leave a bucket outside, but this year with Covid changing how we give she was able to set up a Just Giving page.

"With the money I won, I was able to donate £500 to St Elizabeth Hospice," she said.

She chose the charity as one of her grandsons works there.

Now January is here she has the difficult job of bringing all the lights down.

"I do inside too, and that is all away now, but I will go outside next week and bring them all down. That is the worst part, it is so cold now."

Fellow mum-of-five Kim Woods, 37, of Reynolds Road, Ipswich, was delighted to have won, and will donate her cheque to the Mental Health Foundation.

She said: "I have been doing the lights since I moved here seven years ago, then last year I was meant to go to Lapland but it got cancelled because of Covid so I went a little mad and got lots of penguins, and a blossom tree.

"This year I went extra again, I made it my very on Lapland."

Billy Richmond, managing director of Collins Skip Hire, said: "As Christmas is a time of year for giving and we are delighted to be able to donate and support these very worthy causes."

Mercedes Woollard, of the sales team at Collins Skip Hire, presented the cheques and said: "It was lovely to support the Christmas lights competition and meet the winners Daniel Scott, and his father, Kimberley, and Jackie and hear how much work and time they put in to support the charities close to their hearts.

"Thank you all for keeping the Christmas spirit up. Can’t wait to see you all in December."