Fundraising phenomenon Derek Highe was determined he wouldn’t pull the plug on an annual Christmas tradition and a vital source of funds for The Kirkwood.

Despite spiralling energy costs – and a cost-of-living crisis – Derek’s Robin Royd Christmas Lights will go on this year, thanks to a little extra help from his friends.

It’s the 20th year that Derek has created a Christmas wonderland at his semi-detached home in Robin Royd Avenue, Mirfield, and it’s now a family tradition to visit Derek’s Christmas lights show.

Derek didn’t want to let people down and decided to bite the bullet on the electricity costs.

Since he started lighting up his home for Christmas in 2002, Derek has raised a fantastic £74,000 for charity, the vast majority of it for the Dalton-based hospice.

Derek said he and wife Joy thought carefully about whether to go ahead this year in the current financial climate but added: “We decided we just had to do it.

“The lights have become a festive tradition for so many families and it’s lovely that people say it wouldn’t be Christmas without a visit to Robin Royd lights.

One year Derek’s winter wonderland had real snow!

“It’s all about raising money for The Kirkwood, of course, and it’s an amazing charity that needs our support. Of course, times are tough for everyone and we’re not expecting to break any records but we hope people will come and see the lights and donate what they can afford.”

Derek has always paid for the electricity costs and associated expenses himself but this year his supporters say they want to help with those costs too.

“I’ve never dared work out how much the electricity costs and I certainly didn’t want to think about that this year,” said Derek.

“I was ready to absorb those costs myself again but some of our supporters have said they want to help pay the electricity bill so when they make a donation they will specify on the envelope that the money is for the electricity.

“This isn’t something I was looking for but I’m very grateful that people care so much about the lights that they want to make sure they go on again in probably the most difficult year we’ve had in the last two decades of doing this.”

There’s no official ceremony but the switch-on will take place on Sunday (December 4) at 4.30pm and the lights will be on from 4.30pm-9.30pm every day.

People visiting the lights are advised to go on foot if possible and be considerate of neighbours when parking, even for a short time.

Derek wants to thank Nigel, Andy and Ian for their help and has had support from Ravensthorpe-based Shire Beds and Capri restaurants in Mirfield and Horbury Bridge.

Donations can be made online HERE.

READ MORE: Our guide to the Christmas Concerts, Pantos, Christmas Markets and other events taking place across Huddersfield