Jake’s ready to light up Christmas

A DOWNEND teenager who has raised more than £15,500 for a cancer charity is preparing to light up his latest Christmas display.

Jake Skinner will flick the switch on thousands of lights on his home in Sutherland Avenue at 6pm on December 1.

The lights will be on every night from 5-8pm until December 29, and Jake will be collecting donations for Macmillan Cancer Support, both at this display and online.

Jake has been raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support over the past six years in memory of his sister Stacie, who died aged 17 of anaphylactic shock on Christmas Day 2015, and his nan, who was supported by the charity before she passed away in 2021.

Stacie used to decorate her work desk with Christmas lights, and when her colleagues returned them to the family, Jake decided to remember her by illuminating the family home. 

Over the years the display has expanded and Jake has now lost count of how many LEDs are in it: last year it stretched from the eaves down to the garden gate at 26 Sutherland Avenue.

Last year’s display raised £3,300 and Jake is looking to make this year’s display even better – and offering hot chocolate to visitors on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Macmillan relationship fundraising manager Kaeti Morrison said: “To date Jake has raised over £15,500 to support people living with a cancer diagnosis.

“The impact that has had on our work is huge.

“For instance, it could have paid for three months of a Macmillan nurse’s time, paid for the Macmillan Support Line for three days, supporting around 840 people, or provided 52 people with a Macmillan grant to ease some of the financial pressures a cancer diagnosis can bring.

“Thank you Jake, from everyone at Macmillan.”

Jake, who is 16 and an apprentice electrician, having finished his GCSEs at Mangotsfield School in the summer, said: “We’ve been working really hard getting the lights ready for everyone to enjoy and would love for as many people as possible to come along and support us on December 1.

“We’ve got some amazing prizes for the raffle, there will be hot chocolate being served and, most importantly, lots of money raised for Macmillan.”

Donations can be made online at justgiving.com/page/jakeschristmaslights.

Jake is looking for a sponsor to help pay for some more lights and snowmen to improve this year’s display and replace some lights which have broken through wear and tear.

Anyone who would like to discuss sponsorship can contact Jake via his Facebook page at facebook.com/jake.skinner.98478.