It may have been a Christmas like no other but The Kirkwood helped spread a little cheer – and raised more than £8,700 in the process.

Despite Covid-19 restrictions, families turned out to support The Kirkwood’s Festive Light Trail where homes were festooned in Christmas illuminations.

Three areas in Huddersfield – Fixby and Cowcliffe; Honley; and Almondbury, Fenay Bridge and Lepton – took part along with fundraiser extraordinaire Derek Highe leading the light show in Mirfield.

The Kirkwood published local maps for families to plot a socially-distanced route around their local area and there was a text number to donate to the hospice.

Every year bar one since 2002, Derek has trimmed up his Mirfield semi in spectacular style.

He’s always raised money for charity, the vast majority of which has been for The Kirkwood.

This year dad-of-two Derek raised a record-breaking £7,256.25 with his Robin Royd Christmas Lights. That means he’s raised £60,000 in total since he started.

Derek, dubbed ‘Mr Christmas’ because his lights are now an annual tradition for hundreds of families, said he was delighted his lights had inspired a whole new fundraising venture.

Derek Highe and Joanna Doherty, community fundraiser for The Kirkwood

“As my lights have evolved, I always hoped something like this would happen eventually, and now is the time to carry it forward,” said Derek.

“So many people have made an amazing effort so I hope the trail will return each Christmas.”

Campaign organisers and community fundraisers with The Kirkwood, Julia Owen and Joanna Doherty, have been delighted to work closely with local villages.

Julia said: “After such a challenging year of fundraising and seeing Christmas events up and down the country having to be cancelled, we knew we wanted to create an event that helped families create special memories with each other in a safe way.

“The trail routes could be done socially-distanced and people were able to make a donation contact-free, meaning families could relax and have fun all while supporting us.”

Joanna added: “Seeing our community come together in December was amazing, and it’s something we can grow on year after year. We can’t wait to see what next year’s event has in store.”

Derek is already planning his display for 2021 and The Kirkwood is registering expressions of interest from people who want to light up their homes for a great cause.

To register click here.