‘Little miracles’ light up Otley house

Wharfedale Observer: Fundraiser Mel Metcalfe, pictured with two of her daughters, Alice, left, and Beth, has thanked the community for helping her ‘light up’ Otley Fundraiser Mel Metcalfe, pictured with two of her daughters, Alice, left, and Beth, has thanked the community for helping her ‘light up’ Otley

An “amazing community effort” has helped transform a corner of Otley into a dazzling festive wonderland.

Mel Metcalfe and her family covered their home and garden with thousands of Christmas lights and decorations at the start of the month in a fundraiser for baby charity Bliss.

More than 150 people turned out to join in the fun at Newall Carr Road and Newall Church Hall, which was packed with festive refreshments and gift stalls before the grand switch-on at the house.

Mother-of-three Mel, a veteran fundraiser who has staged previous events for Bliss, posted an emotional thanks on Facebook to everyone who supported the Little Angel Christmas Light Up.

She said: “Well what can I say? The amazing community of Wharfedale showed just how amazing they are once again, so many thank yous to everyone who made the light-up such a fantastic event.

“I think it is safe to say that each and every one of you that helped in some way have well and truly done Bliss Leeds proud, and have certainly made me proud yet again to be part of such an amazing community.

“Love to you all, and Merry Christmas.”

The evening has raised more than £800 so far for Bliss, which provides care and support for premature and sick babies and their families.

Mel is expecting that total to grow as the house will continue to shine brightly for the rest of December.

Bliss Leeds champion and fellow Otley mum Helen Jackson said: “There was a great turnout, with well over 150 people who came to see the switch-on and enjoy an evening of carol singing, mulled wine, mince pies and craft stalls in Newall Church Hall – and a lovely visit from the man in red himself, Santa.

“The lights at the house were switched on by some ‘little miracles’ from Bliss Leeds, all former premature babies.

“They will stay on on every evening from 6pm to 11pm throughout December, and donations of appreciation can be made which will go to Bliss Leeds.”

Mel, meanwhile, would like to give special thanks to Adrian Robinson, Paul Jackson and Manson Electrical for their hard work over many days to ensure the light-up would work, to Alan Sowden and everyone else who donated or sold lights and inflatables and to the ‘little angel’ carollers and helpers, who helped brighten everything.

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