Derek Highe’s annual Christmas lights raised almost £7,000 for The Kirkwood – taking his overall fundraising total to a staggering £70,000.

It’s the 19th time Derek has turned his home in Mirfield into a Christmas wonderland and paying a visit is a tradition for hundreds of families.

Derek raised £6,881.25 over the festive period taking his total over the last two decades to £70,000. In the early years other good causes also benefited but for many years every penny raised has gone to The Kirkwood.

Dad-of-two Derek said: “Once again you can see just how many people care deeply about The Kirkwood. It is such an important cause to so many people across Kirklees.

“It’s such a vital resource. There are thousands of people who fundraise for The Kirkwood and they all do a terrific job. I am just happy I can fundraise for the charity by creating what I do.”

The Kirkwood’s chief executive Michael Crowther said: “Derek has raised thousands for us over the years, and with those funds we have managed to support so many people across Kirklees.

“His event is now a Christmas tradition for many families, bringing joy to everyone who sees his amazing displays.

“Derek really helps to bring the festive spirit out in our community and we are both proud and delighted he is part of The Kirkwood movement. I’m excited to see what he can come up with for 2022.

“Thanks once again to Derek and everyone who donated to his event, and to us as a charity. The funds you raise really matter and help us to improve the quality of life for local people in the ways that matter most to them.”

Derek has been raising funds for The Kirkwood since 2003 and his contribution and dedication has won him multiple awards over the years, including the 2016 Pulse Radio ‘Contribution to Charity’ award and the MyMirfield ‘Best Community Event or Attraction’ award.

Derek added: “I have lots of people to thank, including the Capri, Mirfield, who raised £542 from a Christmas Raffle, and The Capri, Horbury, who raised a similar amount from their Christmas Raffle. 

“I’d also like to thank The Shire Bed Company, who provide the material for my ‘snow’. I also must thank Independent Electrical Services Ltd and the Dewsbury Road Runners, who donated £500. Both the Roberttown Cycling Club and Roberttown Road Runners passed my house as part of their route and they also made fantastic donations.

“Two people who are extremely important, and who I must thank, are my two helpers, Andrew Gray and Ian Auty. Without their help it would be even harder to create.”

Meanwhile, The Kirkwood has announced it raised £25,000 from its Christmas tree recycling scheme. Hospice workers collected some 1,700 trees after Christmas and recycled them in exchange for a donation.