Peter ready to switch back on festive lights
WONFORD has its own Christmas elf who is planning on bringing some festive sparkle to people's lives once again.
This is the third year Peter Gibbins, 26, has held a Christmas lights switch-on event at his home on Tuckfield Close to raise funds for charity.
The 26-year-old, who is a full-time carer for his mum, has been covering their home in lights for 10 years. But three years ago, he decided to invite the local community to celebrate the start of Yuletide.
The first year Peter raised funds for Hospiscare, last year funds went to Scope, and this year money raised during the evening, on Saturday, December 1, will go to the Devon Air Ambulance Trust.
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There will be a bouncy castle, face painting, a burger van, fire works and a Christmas draw, to which about 60 local businesses have generously donated prizes for.
"Each year we've managed to raise more and more," said Peter. "It seems to be getting a bit of a reputation and more people come every year."
Peter started collecting and displaying Christmas lights aged 16. Each year he would acquire more, and more – and more, resulting in the festive array of Santa Clauses and snowmen that are there today.
"I love Christmas, and I got thinking about how it can be a difficult time for some people so I wanted to do something to cheer them up," he continued. "Originally I decided to raise funds for Hospiscare because I had a close friend who died from cancer and she supported the charity, so it initially started in her memory.
"People enjoyed it so much I decided to continue."
Peter starts hanging the lights at the beginning of November to make sure they're all up for the switch on.
He said he often sees people stop and stare at the display and has already had enquiries about when the lights will be switched on from local children.
The event starts at 4pm with the lights switch on at 7pm.