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2 Mar 2019 Community

Derek Highe lights up Mirfield for Kirkwood

Every Christmas, Derek Highe’s home on Robin Royd Avenue, Mirfield, is spectacularly lit up to raise vital funds for Kirkwood Hospice. This year, with the help of the local community, Derek raised a staggering £4,880 for patient care, taking the total raised to over £50,000.

Robin Royd Christmas Lights is renowned in Mirfield for its extravagant festive display and behind the magical scenes each year is local man, Derek Highe.

Derek, who originally began the Christmas lights attraction with the support of two neighbouring houses, has lit up Robin Royd Avenue in aid of charity for the last 16 years.

The lights take six weeks to put together and last Christmas were on display everyday throughout December between 4.30pm and 10pm.

Derek at his Christmas lights attraction back in December

 

Each year, families from across the community and beyond take a special trip out to admire the lights in all their glory and in return, Derek asks guests to make a small donation with all proceeds going towards patient care at Kirkwood.

This year, donations from Derek’s Mirfield home, his online giving page, £480 raised in raffle ticket sales at Capri, Wakefield, and £745 match funding from Barclays Bank have taken the total raised to a staggering £4,888.25.

Derek first started his Christmas lights display to make Christmas extra special for his children, but quickly began transforming his house for charity after a close friend of his died of cancer.

For the first couple of years, Derek raised money for Cancer Research UK and helped fund a Disneyland trip for Zack Jones, of Lower Hopton, after he was diagnosed with cancer. Since then, Derek has donated all money raised to Kirkwood Hospice.

The Kirklees community visiting the popular Christmas Lights attraction

 

Derek said: “Everyone can relate. Everyone knows someone who has been affected by a life limiting illness. There is never a bad word said about Kirkwood.”

To date, Derek has raised over £50,000 and his home has become a statement of Christmas in the Mirfield community with the local press, including the Yorkshire Post, featuring his attraction.

In the lead up to the festive season, Derek spends months planning the magical scenes and with the help of fellow friends, Andrew Gray and Ian Auty, his ideas come to life.

The Highe family went bigger and better than ever this year with the addition of a Santa’s Grotto and letters to Santa for the youngsters to enjoy.

Derek and Community Fundraiser, Lyndsey Wroe, at the cheque presentation

 

Community Fundraiser, Lyndsey Wroe, recently attended a cheque presentation at the Highe household. She said: “We are so thankful for Derek’s continued support over the years. The money he raises really makes a difference to our patients, both at the Hospice and across the Kirklees community.

“Every year, his themes get bigger and even more special. Not only is his work so important to us, but it’s also become a tradition in our local community that people look forward to each year.”

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