Peterborough resident switches on dazzling Christmas light display for local hospice

December 11, 2023

A man from Longthorpe has once again transformed his garden into a magical Christmas light spectacular to raise vital funds for charity close to his heart.

Created by 62-year-old David Wooldridge, the festive fundraiser is bigger and better than ever, with plenty of new additions to the light up display in aid of Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice in Peterborough. Visitors will enter the garden on Longthorpe Green through a brand new four-metre-long tunnel twinkling with blue lights and reindeers overhead, where they will be met by thousands of LED lights, plenty of Christmas inflatables including a new five metre Grinch, and endless new festive features like a magical train.

Linking the front to the back garden will be another sparkling tunnel – this time pink themed – dressed in more dazzling lights and glistening tinsel. This will take guests to more Christmas delights including the Snow Queen, who makes her return this year, carefully guarded by a fierce inflatable dragon from above. As well as a new gingerbread house, there will also be a new sitting area at the back of the garden, handcrafted by David, which he has turned into a magical grotto including a singing father Christmas and decorated beautifully in green – the perfect spot for families to take photos and capture special memories.

David, a landscape gardener by day, first chose to support his local hospice after his dad was cared for by Sue Ryder. He said: “I have a plan when I first start each year, but I always think up new things to do and create, so it always takes longer than I think – this year around three weeks to put everything up. I don’t even know how many lights I have now, I have lost count!

“It’s all so worth it though and after a slow start last year because of the cold weather, I was delighted to have raised £3,000 for Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice.”

While David sets up the display himself, this year he has received generous support of local business GH Display in Peterborough. “I would like to say a big thank you to GH Display who made a donation so I could make my lights spectacle even bigger this year, and for creating some really smart new signs to direct people around the garden,” said David.

“I love seeing the families as they come in and watching the children’s faces. I remember a couple of years ago a young girl came along to the display and donated all her pocket money in memory of her gran who also had cancer. I will never forget that.,” he added.

To date, David has raised over £9,500 to support Sue Ryder’s palliative and bereavement support services.

Zoe Noyes, Community Fundraiser at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, said: “When I visited David’s spectacular Christmas light display, I was blown away by how magical it is – thousands of dazzling lights, inflatables, and wonderful festive features for all to enjoy. We are so grateful to David for his brilliant support of Sue Ryder and are in awe of his dedication and commitment to creating a magical winter wonderland which not only raises money to help us to be there when it matters, but also raises smiles on the faces of local families.

“As our charity battles increasing costs to deliver care at a time the number of people needing our care is predicted to rise, David’s support will help us to reach more people when they really need it, so no one is left to grieve or die alone.”

The Longthorpe light display is now open until New Year’s Day (including Christmas Day) from 5.00-9.30pm each evening. All donations welcome.

Find out more about Sue Ryder at 

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