Grateful Soham grandparents say thanks with Christmas display

Helen and John Attlesey outside their Soham home with its huge display of Chritsmas lights
Helen and John Attlesey outside their Soham home with its huge display of Chritsmas lights

A Soham couple are dreaming of a light Christmas after switching on their spectacular festive display which will once again be raising funds for the children’s charities which helped their grandson when he fell ill eight years ago.

Helen and John Attlesey started putting up this year’s lights on their Julius Martin Lane home, back in September as part of their annual fund raising event.

Now 14, their grandson Jacob was only six when he started having seizures which resulted in him undergoing life-saving brain surgery at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. “Great Ormond Street gave him 12-18 months to live,” said Helen. “Then they said they would go ahead with brain surgery,” she said. “It saved his life,” said John.

Jacob is now healthy studying at Highfield Academy in Ely.

Work putting the lights in place finished Friday, but the couple said they had ‘no idea’ how many lights they have on their house. “It started off with a few lights, and then we got a few more, and then a few more,” said John.

And they don’t worry too much about their electricity bills as they are determined to raise money for good causes. Last year they raised £3,336 to help Great Ormond Street, the East Anglian Children’s Hospice and Dreamflight, which sends seriously ill children on holiday.

“We are helping give back to those who helped Jacob. We are lucky that we got him back,” said Helen.

The lights are turned on daily from 3pm and donations can be left outside.