Age 17, County Armagh
When you think about Christmas lights, you probably imagine fairy lights around the tree, and perhaps the odd reindeer outside your home. But not if you live in Lurgan! A few years ago, I started making Christmas lights a BIG deal at my home. I started ‘Tim’s Lights’, a Christmas lights display designed to bring the community together. In 2013 I decided to turn it into a fundraising opportunity, raising almost £300 for Charlene’s Project – a local charity supporting education in Uganda. Ever since, I’ve wanted to make the display even bigger and better. In 2014 we raised £1,013.41 for Marie Curie Cancer Care, in memory of my friend, Andrew. In between, I spend a lot of time providing technical support and encouragement to lights enthusiasts around the world who are also fundraising for charity.
What’s great about the display is that not only is it raising money for good causes, but it’s also bringing the community together. Lurgan has experienced some dark days during the Troubles, and I’m proud to say that the lights display brings all of the community together during the dark winter nights. It’s also taught me to take a creative approach, using my skills, to help others, and it’s given me a real sense of purpose. I’m already planning a community switch‐on this Christmas, and I can’t wait to make an even bigger difference than before!