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Family’s love of Christmas inspires Benenden Hospital staff member to put on spectacular light display

Nick Lord's Christmas lights charity

Nick Lord, Head of Project Management Office at Benenden Hospital and his wife have always loved Christmas. This passion has only grown with the arrival of their children, aged 12, eight and recently seven month old Phoebe.

This year they have decided to spread festive cheer with their amazing Christmas light display and indoor grotto.

Nick said: “A few years ago, we started a friendly competition with our neighbours where we decorated the front of our houses. We started buying lights over the years and slowly we have built up a substantial collection!

“I have a background in lighting and sound for live events and have been interested in putting on a Christmas sound and light display for some years. This year, we knew we’d have enough decorations to make it happen! My eldest daughter helped me with the music programming so it has really brought us closer together.

“We’ve decorated the outside of our house from top to bottom and our cheeky elf on the shelf built a grotto inside too with a handcrafted sleigh!

“We thought if we can spread festive magic through our display, we could also use this opportunity to help better the lives of others too. My wife works for the NHS so we have chosen to select a charity each, with her half of the funds going to Twinkling Stars, a charity that helps those that face grief following the devastation when they have a stillborn child. I have chosen to help to make improvements to our patient care by donating my half of the funds to the Rising Mercury Society. The RM Society is a way for former Benenden Hospital patients to keep in touch and show their support and appreciation of the hospital.

“We’re located in Newingreen, Hythe which is a 40-minute drive from where I work at Benenden Hospital. However, the display is on daily from 3.30pm-9pm and you’ll spot us as you come down the A20 near Holiday Extras! If you’re in the area, please do pop along to experience our display. We’re in the early days of our fundraising efforts and any donations would be really appreciated, especially as all monies raised will be split equally between the two charities of our choice. We understand it’s amidst a cost-of-living crisis, but every penny will make a huge difference.

“If you can’t travel all that way, you can donate via our JustGiving page.

“The best thing about having the display and our grotto is seeing the children’s faces light up when they visit, we’ve had a few children turn up in their pyjamas – that is what this is truly about. We want to bring a little bit of magic to Christmas and do good for charity at the same time.”

Published on 12 December 2022