Couple offer some much needed light relief

A retired couple “plodded on” through the coronavirus pandemic to decorate their home in Cambridgeshire with hundreds of festive lights.

Helen and John Attlesey have decorated their house in Soham every year for almost a decade to raise money for three charities that helped their grandson Jacob recover from a serious form of epilepsy.

The couple, who began putting up lights at the beginning of September, said they worked through the coronavirus pandemic to ensure their display was ready to be switched on last week.

Among the decorations are colourful silhouettes, an inflatable Father Christmas and light-up reindeer. They also decorate several trees outside.

Asked how many decorations are put on the house, Mrs Attlesey said there were “too many to count - hundreds”.

Mrs Attlesey said: “We started with a few lights nine years ago and every year we’ve added more and more.

“People come from all over to admire the display, they love it, it makes them happy, it’s really become a tradition.

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“But it is a shame that this year we had to switch on the lights without a gathering to watch, as we’ve done in the past, but we just plodded on through to make sure we could bring a smile to some faces.”

The grandmother added: “I’d like to thank everyone who has donated and I hope everyone enjoys the display.

“It’s just our way of giving back to those who saved our grandson.”

The couple raise money for East Anglia Children’s Hospices, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and Dreamflight.

The lights will be kept on until the new year.

Helen and John have raised £25,000 in eight years for the charities that their lights effort support.