Charity lights fundraising target smashed!

Photo of a banner hanging on a gate, announcing the final amount of £11,223 raised for St Peter's Hospice.

A charity Christmas lights display at a home in Watch Elm Close, Bradley Stoke has raised almost three times its intended fundraising target, thanks to an incredible run of media interest which culminated in it being voted second best in the UK in a national TV poll.

The extravagant display, created by house owners Terry James and Mike Checkley, contained over 30,000 lamps.

To attract even more visitors, the couple staged a series of special ‘meet, greet and sweet’ nights where children were allowed into the garden to have their photo taken with costumed figures and receive a gift.

The display also attracted massed visits from local community groups, including Sole Sisters, North Bristol Running Group, the Scouts and a local gymnastics club.

When the display was first switched on in early December, the target was to raise £4,000 for St Peter’s Hospice, a Bristol charity which cares for adults with life-limiting illnesses. However, the attention generated by numerous media appearances meant that this was soon surpassed, resulting in the target being progressively raised to £9,000. Christmas Eve saw an astonishing £1,019 collected on one night alone and by the time the lights were switched off for the season on 1st January, the total collected had reached an astonishing £11,223!

Mike said:

“We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of friends, family, neighbours, the local community and the wider community too. The total raised has surpassed our wildest expectations and we understand that it is one of the largest amounts ever raised for Christmas charity lights in Bristol and South Gloucestershire.”

“We would like to sincerely thank everyone, but especially the local and national media, our sponsors and our neighbours who have been so supportive of the fundraising, despite a few traffic jams in the road!”

• Watch Elm Close Christmas Lights – Bradley Stoke page on Facebook

Photo: Banner on the gate of the property announcing the final amount raised.

Photo of Mike Checkley (left) and Terry James standing at the gate to their house in Watch Elm Close.

Above: Mike Checkley (left) and Terry James.

Photo of members of Sole Sisters running club on a visit to see the lights.

Above: Members of Sole Sisters running club on a visit to see the lights.

This article originally appeared in the February 2019 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on page 32). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH (except August), to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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