Let it glow!

A big-hearted Bedfordshire couple are once again making their home shine bright with a beautiful Christmas lights display and raising vital funds for a Sue Ryder hospice.

Anne and Paul Nicholas have transformed their home in the village of Broom near Bedford into a glittering display of goodwill. It is the third year in a row they have raised money for Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice in Moggerhanger.

The winter wonderland includes glowing reindeers, sparkling snowmen, festive Christmas trees and several hundred thousand twinkling multi-coloured lights.

New for this year is a giant ten-foot square illuminated Christmas present that people can walk through as they enter the garden.

The lights are switched on daily from now until 23rd December, and are open to the general public from 5.30pm to 8.30pm.

Since they first started supporting Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice three years ago, Anne and Paul have raised around £5,000, helping to fill people’s final days with love. Not content with stopping there, this year they are hoping to raise as much money as possible for the hospice.

Paul said: “We’ve lived in Broom for around nine years and we’ve always put up Christmas lights. It was just for ourselves at first, and then someone suggested we should raise money for charity. That’s how it all started.

“For the past three years we have raised funds for Sue Ryder. We chose Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice as it is our local hospice. It is well-known in the local area – many people know someone the hospice has cared for.

“Anne is the one who has the good ideas and thinks things out. We have some new items on display this year, including a ten-foot square Christmas present you walk through when you first arrive!

“It is hard work putting all the lights up – the first light went up at the beginning of October and we switched them on at the end of November. But it is really rewarding to see people’s reactions to the lights and watch their faces light up – they are magical, especially for families.”

Ellie Burke, Community Fundraiser at Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice, said: “This is a beautiful tribute and a wonderful way to spread joy this Christmas, while helping our hospice to continue to be there when it matters. 

"At Sue Ryder we believe that the end of someone’s life is the most important time of their life. Our care teams do all they can to make room for the things that matter to a patient – like spending time with loved ones, sharing stories, jokes and memories, and filling their final days with love.

“It’s truly fitting that Anne and Paul’s magical lights display will be helping to raise vital funds so someone can experience as much comfort and joy as possible at the end of their life, while creating special memories for local families this Christmas too.”

Everyone is welcome to visit Anne and Paul’s display on the High Street in Broom, which will be on until 23rd December, where donations to the Bedfordshire hospice will be gratefully received.

With figures showing every 4.5 minutes someone in the UK dies without the specialist end of life care they need, national healthcare charity Sue Ryder, which runs Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice in Bedfordshire, is asking people to back an appeal to help them be there for more families when it matters.

Donations to the appeal will enable Sue Ryder to deliver the expert and compassionate palliative care they are so well known for. Helping to manage symptoms as well as give advice on the practicalities, so that patients and their families can place their focus on filling their final days together with love.

For more information and to donate visit www.sueryder.org/careatchristmas

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