THE residents of Sarum Avenue, Melksham, have raised nearly £6,000 for Wiltshire Air Ambulance (WAA) with their Christmas lights display.
The event commenced with a ‘light up the night’ party on Saturday 2nd December after the town centre’s Christmas Lights Switch-on and the community were then welcomed to view the lights, see Father Christmas and his elves and donate to the WAA throughout December.
“As you can imagine this was beyond our dreams, as our original target was around £2,000,” says one of the residents, Kelvin Cantello, who helped organise the event.
Around 20 houses in the road were lit up, while a special ‘Santa Christmas hut’ was built on the central grass area. One house also built a Christmas model railway display.
A Wiltshire Air Ambulance spokesperson said, “Community fundraising such as that carried out by the residents of Sarum Avenue over Christmas plays a huge part in keeping our air ambulance flying and saving lives – we can’t thank them enough.”
“As a charity, we receive no regular government funding or National Lottery grants, so rely on generous donations from the public and local businesses to keep our lifesaving service operational.”
Resident and organiser, Terry Weaver, said they had decided to raise funds for WAA as it is a charity close to many people’s hearts in the street.
He said his mother was one of the first people to be airlifted by WAA and if it wasn’t for the charity’s service, she would not have survived.
This is the second time the residents have raised funds through a Christmas lights display, following their efforts in 2022 when they raised £450.
A cheque presentation is due to take place soon.