No lights due to ill health

PUBLISHED: 11:30 05 December 2008 | UPDATED: 14:44 09 April 2010

A RETIRED Littleham couple, who for years have delighted crowds by turning the outside of their home into a stunning light show - raising £9,000 for charity in the process - have called it a day. Since 2003 Sue and Percy Jenkins, of Jarvis Close, have dec

A RETIRED Littleham couple, who for years have delighted crowds by turning the outside of their home into a stunning light show - raising £9,000 for charity in the process - have called it a day. Since 2003 Sue and Percy Jenkins, of Jarvis Close, have decorated their home and garden in aid of charity, which has attracted hundreds of adults and children to their door. They even set up a Santa's grotto in their garage complete with Percy as Father Christmas, open over the three weekends up to Christmas, handing out presents to the visiting youngsters. The task of setting up the grotto in their garage and adorning the outside of their house with lights and decorations took four weeks - working up to three and fours hours every day. But this year, because of ill health, Sue, 62, and Percy, 65, have said they won't be doing it: "It's been great fun, but it's getting harder and harder to do," said Percy, who suffers from diabetes and back problems. "We first did it in 2003 - it was our ruby wedding anniversary and instead of spending the money on a party we wanted to put money into a display everyone could enjoy." Each year the display and the grotto cost £800 - and they had won the Journal Christmas Lights competition on consecutive years. "We were very proud of what we did. We raised more than £5,000 for the Children's Hospice," he added. Last year they raised £1,547 for the Devon Air Ambulance and organised a raffle: "Last Christmas, over 800 children came to the grotto between December 1 and Christmas Eve, and we gave presents to every single one of them; a cuddly toy for the young kids, a colouring book for the older ones and sweets for the teenagers. "We have really enjoyed doing it every year - but it's become too difficult. We have had to stop because of health reasons, and the electricity is just too expensive to turn on the lights. "We just want to thank everybody who supported us, donated money, came to the grotto and neighbours who kept an eye on things and looked out for us. We will really miss doing it, we have had such a great time.


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