Inside Derbyshire dad's fundraising winter wonderland

A Derbyshire dad has created a magical winter wonderland in his garden, delivering bucketloads of festive cheer to local families.

The dad-of-two has flung open the gates to the spectacular display at his Tibshelf home – to raise vital funds for families supported by Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.

The eye-catching display includes an inflatable Santa which is as tall as the house, a giant 45 foot Christmas tree, 40,000 lights, a festive red phone box and a host of other illuminations. 

This is the second year Chris Ball, from Tibshelf, has decked his family home out in such a dazzling fashion for Bluebell Wood.

Chris, an energy consultant who runs his own business, came up with the idea when his children, aged five and seven, really started to embrace Christmas.

“We started having more decorations around our home a couple of years ago and I thought the next step would be to decorate our house and garden with lights for charity,” said Chris.

“There was another local man who used to do something similar and when he retired from doing it, I decided to pick up where he left off.

“I’ve supported Bluebell Wood for a number of years so I knew straight away that it would be our chosen charity.

“I was lucky enough to come for a visit a few years ago as part of another car club event for Bluebell Wood.

“Seeing first-hand the amazing work Bluebell Wood does with local children and young people really did leave a lasting impression.”

With help from a couple of friends, Chris began putting this year’s display together back in October, dedicating many evenings and weekends to finessing the festive spectacular.

He completed a triathlon for Bluebell Wood last year, but decided the Christmas lights might be a less arduous task.

The 2018 display raised over £1,400, a total he’s hoping to top this year.

Hannah Saunders, community fundraiser for Bluebell Wood, said: “Chris and his hardworking team of volunteer elves have done a truly remarkable job – it looks spectacular.

“As well delighting local families the winter wonderland is helping to raise much-needed funds for children and young adults whose lives are just too short. A huge thank you to Chris and everyone who made it possible.”

The winter wonderland will be open to the public between 4.30pm – 8.30pm on the following dates in December - Saturday 14, Thursday 19, Saturday the 21 and Tuesday 24.

More may be added, so keep an eye on Facebook. 

The lights can be found on the corner of Chesterfield Road and Hawthorne Avenue, Tibshelf. 

For more information about Bluebell Wood click here.