Soham couple hope their Christmas lights display raises a record-breaking amount for EACH

Let there be light!

Big-hearted John and Helen Attlesey are arranging another explosion of festive cheer in aid of three charities, including East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).

The couple are in the process of adorning their home with hundreds of Christmas lights and hope donations bring in more than last year’s whopping total of nearly £13,000.

Their eye-popping display will feature luminous snowmen, reindeer and an inflatable Santa Claus.

Retired John and Helen, who live in Julius Martin Lane, Soham, Cambridgeshire, have been decorating their house since 2012 and hope to switch on this year’s display in mid-November.

“It takes a lot of work but we’re getting there,” said John, 76.

“Our display has become a tradition here in Soham and we’re very proud to have raised so much, with last year’s grand total being just over £12,895.

“It was more than double the amount we raised the previous year.

“We split that money three ways and also supported Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) and Dreamflight, with each receiving £4,258.

“It’s an awful lot of work and sometimes I wonder what I’m doing, but it cheers people up and raises a lot of money so it’s become very important to us.

“We’re adding to the display all the time and we’re nearly three-quarters of the way there, having started putting things up in September.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to switch the display on next month, although, like last year, we won’t make a big thing of it because of COVID.

“However, people will still be able to visit and make a donation.”

John and Helen raise money for three charities that supported grandson Jacob when he was diagnosed with a serious form of epilepsy at the age of six.

He was given 12 to 18 months to live but, after undergoing surgery to have a part of his brain removed, his seizures stopped. He turns 18 in January.

“We’ve been adding more and more decorations every year,” added Helen, 69.

“It’s become such a big thing and, since starting out in 2012, we’ve raised more than £25,000.

“We’ve been amazed by the media coverage we’ve already received this year. We’ve been in the local and national press and it’s great publicity that will hopefully help us have another record-breaking year of fundraising.”

EACH Regional Fundraiser Tina Burdett said: “John and Helen’s stunning display is always a sight to behold.

“It’s an incredible gesture and, down the years, they’ve raised an extraordinary amount of money for EACH.

“Their long-term support is something we’re truly grateful for because we rely on voluntary income to continue providing specialist care and support for children with life-threatening conditions, and their families.

‘The money they raise will make a real difference, as well as sprinkling festive cheer and putting smiles on the faces of those fortunate enough to enjoy their Christmas lights.”

Notes to Editors

“To need to use a children’s hospice is every parent’s worst nightmare, however, when you get there it’s the most beautiful place imaginable. It’s a lifeline to parents going through the worst possible journey and enables families to find the support that they need.”

  • We care for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk, and support their families.
  • We offer families flexibility and control over where they receive their care and support, including where their child dies – at home, in hospital or at one of three hospices at Milton (Cambridge), The Nook (Norfolk) and The Treehouse (Ipswich).
  • Our family-centred approach includes specialist nursing care, symptom management support, short breaks, wellbeing activities, therapies and counselling, all meeting the individual needs of the child, young person and whole family.
  • We are recognised as leaders in our field, with a reputation for excellence and commitment to pioneering development and innovation.
  • We rely on voluntary donations for the majority of our income and this year need to raise £5.5 million from fundraising and £5.4 million in income from our shops. The year before the pandemic we received just 16% of our total income from statutory sources.
  • EACH Royal Patron – Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge.
  • For more information about EACH, including forthcoming events and how you can help raise funds, visit or call our Cambridgeshire fundraisers on 01223 204916.

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For further information about this release please contact:

Matt Plummer | Media and PR Manager | 07738 328058 |

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