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Best turn out yet for Maidstone teen's Christmas fundraiser for Homeless Care


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A teenager had his largest turn out yet for his charity Christmas lights switch on.

For fourth year in a row Callum Dunne, 15, who has autism, is putting on a dazzling display in Maidstone’s Queen Elizabeth Square to raise funds for homeless charity Homeless Care.

Callum Dunne's Christmas lights display in Queen Elizabeth Square, Maidstone Picture: Andy Jones.
Callum Dunne's Christmas lights display in Queen Elizabeth Square, Maidstone Picture: Andy Jones.

Callum’s annual display was in jeopardy earlier this year, after a fire destroyed all his lights in April.

The decorations were kept in the shed, where the fire started, and which was burnt to the ground. His family’s home was also damaged by the blaze, caused by an electrical fault.

His sister’s car was destroyed by the fire too. However, within a day, neighbours in the Queen Elizabeth Square Resident’s Association raised £500 to help replace them.

On discovering the destruction, Callum said: “I was devastated because I was thinking it isn’t just effecting me. I know all the neighbours like to look at them."

Callum set about buying new decorations and on Saturday, the lights were officially switched on, with about 25 people attending, including neighbours and Callum's teachers.

People gather to watch Callum Dunne's Christmas lights switch on, on November 20 Pic: Homeless Care
People gather to watch Callum Dunne's Christmas lights switch on, on November 20 Pic: Homeless Care

The 15-year-old first started transforming his garden for the festive season in 2016, and the display has grown since then.

The last two years have seen about a £1000 raised all together for Homeless Care, which runs Maidstone Day Centre and a foodbank for those in need.

Callum Dunne at his lights switch on, on November 20, in aid of charity Pic: Homeless Care
Callum Dunne at his lights switch on, on November 20, in aid of charity Pic: Homeless Care

Every day Callum runs safety checks on his lights, and checks to see if they are working.

There is still plenty of time to see Callum's display. The lights will be on every evening from 5pm-10pm, until Sunday, January 2, at 18 Queen Elizabeth Square.

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