Funds raised for Niamh’s Next Step by Wellingborough Christmas lights

Karl Beetson of Wellingborough handing over a cheque for more than �2,000 to Hannah Curry from Niamh's Next Step

Karl Beetson of Wellingborough handing over a cheque for more than �2,000 to Hannah Curry from Niamh's Next Step

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A fundraiser has handed over more than £2,000 after turning the front of his house into a spectacular lights display for Christmas.

The Beetsons’ home in Torrington Road, Wellingborough, has been lit up every Christmas for about 16 years.

Not only does it look festive and draw in the crowds, it also raises money for charity – and this year was no exception.

Karl Beetson presented a cheque for £2,084 to Hannah Curry, the sister of Niamh who lost her fight with neuroblastoma in May 2012 aged just five.

Niamh’s family launched Niamh’s Next Step in her memory to raise awareness and money to fund research into the childhood cancer.

But being chosen as this year’s charity was particularly poignant for the family as their house is not far from the Beetsons and they used to walk round with Niamh and Hannah every year to see the lights and make a donation.

Niamh’s dad Chris Curry said: “The total amount raised was £2,084 plus Gift Aid which is amazing and means so much to our charity.

“It is extra special to us as Niamh used to love going round to see the lights and putting her money in the donation box.

“As always, every penny raised will help other children fighting neuroblastoma and to fund vital research into the cancer.”

The charity was put forward as a suggestion to Karl’s parents.

Karl, who said this is the second highest amount they’ve ever raised, added: “It’s nice to be able to help Niamh’s Next Step, especially having the link knowing that they had seen the display and that the charity is in Niamh’s memory.

“We have been doing it now for 16 or 17 years, but I am glad when it’s over so I can have a rest!

“But we keep doing it because of the enjoyment it brings to the people that come to see it.

“If it makes people happy, then that’s great.

“If we can, we do try to support local charities or some of the larger ones which have a link to someone local.”

Other charities which have benefited in the past include Crazy Hats and Diabetes UK.

Karl’s display features more than 8,000 lights and costs about £500 a year – but the main cost is the personal commitment of the time it takes to pull it all together.

Despite this, he and his dad have already started thinking about this year’s display, and said they are hoping to continue brightening up the street over Christmas for the foreseeable future.

For more information on the charity go to www.niamhsnextstep.com.