A festive family is getting ready to officially switch on their Christmas lights to raise funds for four charities.
Mark Tipping and his family will switch on the lights at their Cottam home at 6pm on Sunday, December 1, hoping to collect donations for Rosemere Cancer Foundation, Derian House Children’s Hospice, Preston Headway and the Jordan Grant 18 Memorial Fund (CRY – Cardiac Risk in the Young)
Mark, his wife Nicola and their children Sam, 14, Joe, 13, and 10-year-old Isaac have been trimming the outside of their Valentines Meadow house since the beginning of the month, ready for the switch on.
When the lights go on, it will be for the eighth consecutive year.
Over the past seven years, the spectacle has brought people from throughout the area to their door, who have dropped their spare change into a wishing well collection bucket, totalling £67,200 for the chosen charities.
Mark, a scaffolding manager, said: “Every year, we introduce new installations and features so even if people have come round before, the display will be different.
“Our lights are also steady as opposed to flickering and flashing so shouldn’t cause anyone a headache. We are extremely grateful to everyone who comes along.
“It takes quite some effort to get the display ready but every donation, even if it’s just a few pence, makes it all worthwhile as all the money is shared between four great local charities.”
The Tippings’ lights will go on every evening until 12th Night, the Epiphany on Monday, January 6.
To ensure visitors’ donations are safe, Mark empties the donation bucket daily and security company Vuetek, of Fylde Road, Preston, has donated CCTV equipment for the third year in succession that monitors the whole house.
For anyone who cannot visit but would still like to support the Tippings’ fund-raising, Mark has set up a donation page at www.virginmoneygiving.com
Once on the website, simply type Mark Tipping into the search box and a link to the family’s page will appear.
The Tippings’ festive antics have twice led them to London – once to collect a British Citizenship Award at the House of Lords in 2016 and in 2015, to be presented with a Point of Light award as outstanding volunteers. This was given to them at Number 10 Downing Street by then Prime Minister David Cameron, who invited the family to the share official switch-on of Number 10’s outdoor Christmas tree lights.
Mark added: “Both awards were totally unexpected but amazing days out for us. We have no idea who nominated us for either of them but they have our thanks.”