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Shepherd family Christmas lights display raises record £9,000 for charity

James Harrison

A charity which helps families dealing with cancer during pregnancy has received a late Christ-mas present of more than £9,000 thanks to a festive lights display.

The Shepherd family deck their home in Hill Farm Road, Marlow Bottom, with thousands of decorations set to music every year.

Visitors regularly come from London and beyond to see the spectacle, which ran from December 1 until Thursday, January 5, with donations to the Mummy’s Star charity reaching a final total of £9,330.

And dad Tony, who started the tradition in 2000, thinks the annual event has collected more than £25,000 for the organisation over the last five years.

“This year’s total is the highest ever,” he said, “and I think that’s pretty amazing, I have to say.

“And it’s all down to the generosity of people, as well as the sheer number who turn up.”

The display, which is also set to music and would take about an hour to watch in its entirety, is still in the process of being dismantled – after which Mr Shepherd will start work on preparations for the next one.

About a hundred people at once often view the light show at peak times and Tony was also keen to thanks his neighbours for their patience and the local authority for helping with signs to direct traffic.

Pete Wallroth, who founded Mummy’s Star in 2013 after his wife died just days after giving birth, thanked the family for their efforts.

He added: “It’s a massive amount of money for a small charity like us – it stretches quite far and lets us help a lot of the families who are getting in touch with us.

“There’s a real range of things that that money will do, including financial and logistical support for families having to travel for treatment.

“But it also means we can get out raising more awareness of cancer in pregnancy, advocating for patients and making sure people know the service is there when they need it.”

Visit www.facebook.com/shepherdfamilychristmaslights to find out more.

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