A Nottingham family have once again decked their house and garden in thousands of Christmas lights to raise money for Nottingham Hospitals Charity – and they will be joined by three stars from the TV show Gogglebox to switch them on.
The Swift family, who live on Laurel Crescent in Nuthall, have been decorating their house to delight neighbours and visitors for the past 15 years and have raised a phenomenal total of more than £100,000 for charity in that time.
Half the money raised is given to Nottingham Hospitals Charity’s Hayward House Appeal. Last year the family raised more than £26,000, half of which went to Hayward House, the palliative care centre at Nottingham City Hospital.
This year the Swift family will, for the second time, be joined by the much-loved Siddiqui family from Channel 4’s Gogglebox, to switch on the lights at 6pm on Sunday 18 November. Hundreds of spectators attend the switch-on each year, and thousands of people visit the attraction over the festive period.
Visitors are admitted free of charge, but can make a donation to the Swifts’ two chosen charities. Tony Swift, his wife Wendy, and stepson Adam Butler, chose to fundraise for Nottingham Hospitals Charity after Wendy’s father, John Sheeran, was diagnosed with terminal cancer 15 years ago. John received treatment at Hayward House and the family chose to thank the staff for the care he received.
Adam said: “The atmosphere at Nuthall Christmas Lights is incredible and the support we receive not only from the local community but businesses too is just amazing. We are really looking forward to kick-starting the festive season off on Sunday 18 November. Last year’s total of over £26,000 was fantastic and we couldn’t have done it without the kind generosity of the general public!”
The Siddiqui family became involved in the Nuthall Christmas Lights last year, when they helped switch on the lights for the first time.
Bassit Siddiqui, one-third of the Gogglebox family, said: “’Having worked in Nottingham, I heard from workmates and teachers about the lights switch on, but to be part of it is something else. Adam and the rest of the family have been a pleasure to get to know and it’s very obvious they care deeply about helping others, not only the money they raised for the different charities but the effort they go to with prizes, Santa’s Grotto and the stalls they set up. I’m so excited to be switching on the lights again this year.”
Brother Umar Siddiqui explained: “I’m really looking forward to being part of the Nuthall Christmas Lights switch on this year. The atmosphere is incredible. When we got there last year we couldn’t get over how many people came to see the lights being turned on. We took so many selfies and chatted to a lot of people on the day. We were amazed by the support for the event, from the local community.”
Their dad, Sid Siddiqui, added: “When we got to the switch on last year we didn’t know what to expect. I couldn’t believe the effort and level of detail the Swift family had gone to. It’s a truly magical event to be part of. The fact that they raised amazing amounts of cash for such important causes is the icing on the cake.”
People attending the switch-on can buy mince pies, mulled wine and small Christmas gifts from the family’s on-site shop. Santa visits the house every Friday and Saturday 6pm-8pm until New Year, and children can meet him in his Grotto and receive a free goodie bag.
Alison Hayward, Community Fundraising Manager at Nottingham Hospitals Charity, said: “The Nuthall Christmas Lights is one of the fundraising events we really look forward to every year. The effort the Swift family put in to decorating their home and raising money is absolutely amazing, and the amount of money they have raised so far for Hayward House is phenomenal.
“The lights really bring the community together to spread festive cheer and support a worthwhile cause. The money they raise each year makes a real difference to patients at Hayward House facing terminal illnesses by providing art sessions, complementary therapy and counselling services. We can’t wait to go along to the big switch-on!”
For more information about the Hayward House Appeal or to make a donation please click here.