A Melton family have lit up their house, complete with a Santa’s grotto, as part of a festive fundraising campaign in aid of two causes close to their hearts.
Jackie Underwood and her family and friends are asking people who come to see their display, at 120 Dalby Road, to make a donation in aid of the district nurses, based at Melton Hospital, and the children’s cancer ward 27 at the Leicester Royal Infirmary.
The grotto will be open every Saturday, from December 12, between 2pm and 5pm.
Jackie and her family will also be having a stall at this weekend’s Victorian Christmas Fayre. Tomorrow (Saturday), at 11am, Frozen characters will be at the stall to greet visitors, thanks to Totally Tangled Parties which has also donated a half-hour party visit from the Snow Queen as a raffle prize. Other prizes, many kindly donated by local businesses, include a Leicester City FC stadium tour, two weeks of free coffee from More Coffee Co and a cake donated by Sugar Shamrocks of Melton.
Jackie’s sister Jeanette Isaac, who runs online company ‘Jeanette’s Healthy Living Products’ is sponsoring the stall and donating all profits.
Jackie’s mum, Margaret Sweeney (77) received fantastic care from the district nurses until she sadly died in February.
Before she died Margaret, who raised money for Melton’s hospitals during her life, asked her daughter to support the district nurses and now Jackie is keeping her promise.
She said: “The district nurses don’t get enough recognition. While mum was in her last days nothing was too much trouble for them and they went above and beyond to take care of her and make her comfortable.
“What they do day in and day out is amazing as well as helping people to stay in their own homes.”
Donations at Margaret’s funeral raised over £100 for the nurses and Jackie and her relatives donated an extra £200 to help buy 15 washable laptop bags for the nurses.
As well as collection boxes at the house on Dalby Road, there are also boxes at the White Hart and Black Swan pubs in Sherrard Street, the Cafe in the Mall shopping centre, Gracie’s Sandwich Bar in Market Place and Miss B’s Deli in Sherrard Street.
Jackie and her family are also raising funds for Ward 27 at the LRI as Jackie’s three-year-old great niece, Evie, was recently diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and will be undergoing chemotherapy treatment for the next two years. Jackie added: “We want to raise money to help provide the ward with much needed equipment and toys for the children.”