Login Register

'Father Christmas' Derek Highe tops £30k in charity fundraising

Mirfield dad-of-two hands over cheque to Kirkwood Hospice for latest festive display

Christmas lights fundraiser Derek Highe has handed over his latest charity cheque to Kirkwood Hospice.

Derek, 58, turns his Mirfield home into a festive wonderland every year in what has now become a traditional part of Christmas for hundreds of families.

The dad-of-two has put up Christmas lights in his street for all but one of the last 12 years and last Christmas was no exception.

He braved the worst wind and rain he’s known to ensure no-one was disappointed and was rewarded with cash donations totalling £2,736.28.

Derek, who runs a kitchens and bedrooms firm, pays all expenses himself and every penny donated goes to the charity.

Last year’s efforts saw Derek’s overall total break through the £30,000 barrier, most of that going to Kirkwood Hospice though other good causes benefited in the early years.

READ MORE: 27 suspected drug-dealers arrested in raids on homes

READ MORE: Council tax bills to rise by 4 per cent

Derek said the money raised in 2015 was £1,000 up on the previous year and added: “I just want to thank everyone who continues to support us.

“The reaction has been fantastic and it never ceases to amaze me how people come out in their droves. So many people say it’s now become part of their Christmas tradition. I have to keep going now.”

Derek Highe (left) hands over a cheque for £2,736.28 to Garry Wilkinson, director of fundraising and marketing at Kirkwood Hospice, the proceeds of donations from his Christmas lights.

Derek, who started out when his children were young and has carried on since they’ve grown up, said he was already planning for Christmas 2016.

One of the new features will be a ‘letters to Santa’ postbox. Last Christmas for the first time Derek had several letters to Santa posted through his door.

All of them were forwarded to the North Pole but this time around Derek will make sure he has a direct mail link with Santa so that all Christmas wish lists get delivered in time.

Derek had an online giving page and donations came from as far afield as Australia. The Capri Italian restaurant at Horbury Bridge also raised £421 by selling raffle tickets.



Doug Thomson
Huddersfield Town correspondent
Chris Roberts
Huddersfield Giants correspondent
Louise Cooper
Crime correspondent
Nick Lavigueur
Health Correspondent
Joanne Douglas
Local Government Correspondent
Linda Whitwam
Education Correspondent
Henryk Zientek
Business Correspondent
Martin Shaw
Mirfield Correspondent