Duston home illuminates street with Christmas lights to raise money for Air Ambulance
Married couple, Melanie and Nick, have been lighting up their street in aid of the Air Ambulance Service for five years running now
A Duston couple have kitted out their entire house and garden with dozens of Christmas decorations to raise money for the Air Ambulance Service for the fifth year in a row now.
Melanie and Nick Phipps, of Vienne Close in Duston have decorated their home with 55 sets of festive lights and inflatables and, over the years, the residence has become a yearly attraction for families in the area to visit and marvel at their awe-inspiring colourful displays.
Melanie said: "I love Christmas and love the lights - also seeing people smile and just bringing some Christmas cheer. My children loved it growing up and now my grandchildren love it too.
"As a child, we went to Blackpool every year to see the lights and then took my children and now grandchildren, so I guess it rubbed off on me."
Visitors to their illuminated home are invited to take a tour of their driveway and make a donation to the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance Service in the bucket at their front door.
Melanie and Nick have been decorating their house for years but started raising money for the charity after they once had to call an air ambulance and were shocked at how much a single call-out costs - £1,700 a mission.
Melanie said: "They get no government or lottery funding and it’s such a worthy cause. Without them, many more people would lose their lives."
The couple raised a jaw-dropping total of £1,165 for the Air Ambulance service - the most they have ever raised in their five years of collecting for the charity.
The Chronicle & Echo asked Melanie if she expects to raise even more money for the special cause this year. She said: "I hope so. We always hope we can get more people to come and look and, just to see people smile and the kids enjoy it all, is fab.
"We have such lovely comments on Facebook and cards through the door thanking us."
New additions to the busy display include a willow tree, a purple unicorn, a skiing snowman, bells, candy canes, a multi-coloured tree and two sets of icicles. The willow tree is Melanie's favourite new feature and it took her husband, Nick, about a week to put up all of the decorations.
Those wanting to make a donation can either do so by visiting the Duston home and putting money in the charity bucket at their front door or by visiting their Just Giving page to make a donation online instead.