Chichester dad turns house into 'festive grotto' - 'You'll be able to see these lights from space'

In what has become a Christmas tradition, a dad from Chichester has turned his house into a 'festive grotto' to raise funds for charity.

Tuesday, 1st December 2020, 8:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 2nd December 2020, 10:42 am
Wayne Thair lights up his house during the festive season each year. Pic Steve Robards SR2012011

Wayne Thair lights up his house in Exton Road during the festive season each year and has raised thousands for St Wilfrid’s Hospice.

However, this year, his chosen charity is Love Your Hospital, which, in a post on Twitter, wrote: "A fantastic effort by Wayne Thair, who has decorated his house and front garden like a festive grotto to raise funds for St Richard's Hospital.

"We reckon you'll be able to see these lights from space! Great work, Wayne!"

Wayne said personal reasons were behind the decision to raise money for St Richard's.

He said: "I've been in hospital on numerous occasions this year. My son has also been in and out of hospital after breaking his arm.

"My wife works up there as well [so] I decided that this year I would do it for them.

"I was in hospital a few weeks ago and thought I wouldn't do it this year but my wife said I've got to. Everybody has had such a bad year.

Wayne said some of his neighbours come to look at the lights outside his house every night 'as part of their routine for the little children'. Pic Steve Robards SR2012011

"We said I've got to do it for the hospital because of what they've been through and for personal reasons.

"My two boys [aged 15 and 17] have been out helping me."

Wayne said he built a money spinner, which people can donate to as they walk past.

"Someone donated £50 at the weekend," he said. "Another few people gave me some notes so there's quite a bit in there already.

Wayne's two sons helped him set up the 'grotto'. Pic Steve Robards SR2012011

"Normally I have a £300 target but this year more people are coming out to look at the lights as everybody has had a bad year.

"Some people come here every night as part of their routine for the little children."

A message from the Editor, Gary Shipton:

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news, I am asking you to please purchase a copy of our newspapers.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspapers.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

Stay safe, and best wishes.