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Ipswich lights up for Christmas in aid of hospice

PUBLISHED: 09:52 10 December 2018 | UPDATED: 16:16 10 December 2018

Christmas lights are being displayed across the town to raise money for St Elizabeth Hospice. Picture: JAMES ALEKSIC

Christmas lights are being displayed across the town to raise money for St Elizabeth Hospice. Picture: JAMES ALEKSIC

Christmas lights are being displayed across the town to raise money for St Elizabeth Hospice. Picture: JAMES ALEKSIC

A number of houses have already decked their front gardens with thousands of festive lights to raise money for St Elizabeth Hopsice – could you join in on their Christmas trail?

The light technician uses his expertise to raise money for charity. Picture: JAMES ALEKSICThe light technician uses his expertise to raise money for charity. Picture: JAMES ALEKSIC

The Ipswich-based charity which provides specialist end-of-life care are calling for more homes to join their first ever official Christmas lights trail.

After receiving feedback on their initial launch last month, the hospice have now made the trail free to sign up to and have relaunched the campaign.

Beth Condie, community fundraising manager for the hospice, said: “It’s now totally free to take part and the house voted as the winner will receive £250 in B&Q vouchers.

“We already have some great homes that have registered but we would really like more to make this a truly spectacular Christmas event.”

To take part all you need to do is register your home with the hospice and send over a photo of your lights.

For a donation of £2 people will be able to visit the homes with the help of a downloadable map. Alternatively all the entries will be available on the hospice’s Facebook page.

The winner of the trail will be the house with the most likes on Facebook.

Beth added: “Anyone can join in whether you have put up subtle lighting or you are hoping your home can be seen from space!”

For those wanting to take part the hospice will set you up with a JustGiving page and give you a sign with a unique text code to place outside your house so people can donate when they visit. The house that raises the most money will win a Waitrose hamper prize.

Here are some of the houses who have already signed up already.

Linda Brown's Christmas lights display in aid of St Elizabeth hospice. Picture: LINDA BROWNLinda Brown's Christmas lights display in aid of St Elizabeth hospice. Picture: LINDA BROWN

James Aleksic, a theatre technician in Ipswich, has been creating light displays for the charity since 2013 – years before they started a light trail.

James said: “I have always thought this is a great way for me to use my skills to support a worthy cause.

“I’ve had a few family members and friends who have spent time at the hospice, and so I know first hand the amazing work they do.”

This year’s display which has over 1,350 channels of lighting is set to last 13 minutes in sync to a soundtrack of Christmas number one hits.

“The lights can be controlled individually and can be set to any colour, giving me so many more options to create something unique!”

The Thompson's have been putting up Christmas lights for years. Picture: ADRIENNE THOMPSONThe Thompson's have been putting up Christmas lights for years. Picture: ADRIENNE THOMPSON

Linda Brown has taken part in the hospice’s Christmas trail for the past four years, after witnessing the care and support the local charity provides.

She said: “My brother spent time at the hospice and the care and attention they provide there is incredible.

“He sadly spent his last days in their care and we have been supporting the work they do ever since,” continued Linda, who lives in Tattingstone.

Mrs Brown raised more than £250 towards the hospice’s end-of-life care last year, and hopes to raise a similar amount this year by the thousands of bulbs decorating the front of her house.

Linda collects donations in an old fashioned telephone box in her front garden.

Adrienne Thompson has been putting up Christmas lights for the last ten years and was overjoyed when the hospice announced their Christmas trail.

The 61-year-old said: “Every year we update our display and make it different in some way.”

Her display includes thousands of icicle lights and a Santa sleigh on the roof of her bay window.

Originally from East London, Adrienne decided to support the hospice as her foster son who is 18, is likely to rely on their support when he turns 19. Adrienne and her partner have been shared life carers for their foster-son, who is severely disabled, since he was two months old.

They have set up a JustGiving page and hope to raise £100 or more for the support the hospice will provide.”

If you would like to enter your house in to the trail visit the hospice’s website or telephone 01473 723600.

The trail will begin on December 15 with the downloadable trail map available from December 14.

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