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Christmas light display set up by Maidstone teenager met with applause

A teenage boy who has autism has been met with a round of applause as his charity Christmas light display lit up this evening.

Callum Dunne, from Maidstone, created a magical festive scene on the outside of his family's home to raise money for Maidstone Day Centre.

Watch as the lights switch on

Tonight, crowds gathered outside his house, in Queen Elizabeth Square, to watch the 13-year-old countdown to the moment it dazzled in lights.

Starting three years ago with just a reindeer with a sleigh, a tree and lights, he has made this year's display the biggest yet with 21 lights along the whole house.

He even added an extra one for tonight's display as The Kent Messenger called for residents to come and support him.
With festive music playing and sweet treats being handed out the visitors it was a night full of Christmas spirit.

Callum Dunne with his Christmas light display in Maidstone (24795601)
Callum Dunne with his Christmas light display in Maidstone (24795601)

Callum said: "It went very well. It was amazing I just thought I have tried everything to become famous.

"I have tried YouTube, I've now just done a normal display that I have done for year and suddenly I am just famous without even meaning to be.

"In cash I have raised about £72 but we are doing an online fundraising page and on that I have got £50, which is incredible.

"I couldn't have done it without all the neighbours or anyone donating who passed by.

"No one would like to be out in the rain, the wet, the snow, the freezing cold at Christmas while everyone else is indoors opening presents and having a nice roast dinner.

Callum Dunne with his Christmas light display in Maidstone (24795599)
Callum Dunne with his Christmas light display in Maidstone (24795599)

"You wouldn't want a homeless person to be left out and lonely so we give them more of a chance to enjoy Christmas."

The Malling School Tydeman Centre pupil was inspired to make the display by his favourite movie Deck the Halls.

At the front of the display is a laminated copy of a letter from the day centre to say thank you for his efforts. He decided to put it up to show people that he 'really was raising money' for charity.

Two collection pots sit on a small table, one is for donations to the day centre, the other is for Callum to add more lights to his display.

Callum added: "Please come and have a look."

The display will be available to view until Saturday, January 4, at 18 Queen Elizabeth Square, Maidstone, between 5pm and 9pm everyday.

Read more: all the latest news from Maidstone

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