Here they go again! Telford family raising money for charity with incredible festive light display

A breathtaking Christmas lights display in Dawley is a family affair this year as festive fanatics the Pickerings aim to raise money for a mental health charity.

The lights at Rhodes Avenue, Dawley. Photo: Shaun Pickering.
The lights at Rhodes Avenue, Dawley. Photo: Shaun Pickering.

Shaun Pickering, who puts up a fantastic lights display at his house in Dawley each year, has this year persuaded his brother, Ryan, and sister, Louise, to join in and decorate their own houses too.

After their dad, John Pickering, passed away last year from a heart disease they decided to raise money for the British Heart Foundation. This year, to mark 21 years since their uncle, Gordie, sadly took his own life, the family are raising money for Telford Mind – a charity that helps people with their mental health.

With their houses dressed up the nines, and even a homemade Coca-Cola truck at Shaun's house, the family are hoping once again the local community will rally behind this important cause.

"It has been really successful," Shaun said. "Last year we raised money for the British Heart Foundation because my dad passed away. My employer, Wrekin Housing Group, matched the amount I raised so the total was £2,050. We are hoping we will raise even more this year.

"This year we wanted to support mental health. If my dad hadn't passed away last year we would've raised money for mental health because it's something very important to our family. Mental health has affected the family a lot.

The display at Webb Crescent. Photo: Shaun Pickering.

"My uncle took his own life 21 years ago after his own struggles. This year with Covid and isolation, people have been by themselves with no one to talk to and it's important they can access help if they need to."

The family held a three-night Christmas lights switch-on over the weekend, lighting up 21 Rhodes Avenue on Friday, 69 Webb Crescent on Saturday and 20 Trinity Road on Sunday.

Shaun said that over the years, he reckons he has spent around £5,000 on lights and decorations but it's always worth it for the smile it puts on people's faces.

"All our neighbours were so excited," he said. "I have stocked up on lights over the last five years and we use most of those, but my brother has also brought quite a lot to cover his house.

"I started off small and each year I have added more and more to it. My neighbour said on Friday that I keep adding more each year and it's definitely true.

Festive fun at Trinity Road. Photo: Shaun Pickering

"I built the Coca-Cola truck myself last year. It took a lot of time and effort, I made the main structure of it and my sister sketched the drawings on and I handpainted them all. It was painstaking at times.

"All the words had holes in so we could push LEDs through, so it was a lot of effort but worth it."

After a difficult year last year losing their father aged 59, and the effects of the pandemic this year, the family wanted to do something together.

"Because of lockdown and the pandemic and everything, my family has been there for each other more than ever before and we have all looked after each other," Shaun said.

"So we wanted to all work together on this to pull it off even better this year. A lot of the neighbours near me have got used to it now and used to it getting bigger each year. It took my siblings neighbours by surprise I think but they liked it in the end.

"We have a charity collection tin at the properties if people want to donate when they walk past."

People can also donate to the family's fundraiser by going to their JustGiving page at justgiving.com/fundraising/chrismasmindlightdisplay

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