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Maidstone teenager puts on Christmas light display to raise money for Maidstone Day Centre


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A Maidstone teenager is hoping to help the homeless this Christmas with his annual light display.

Callum Dunne has transformed the outside of his family's home into a magical festive scene to raise money for Maidstone Day Centre.

Callum Dunne stands with his Christmas light creation (24534471)
Callum Dunne stands with his Christmas light creation (24534471)

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.

The 13-year-old said: "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.

"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 by his favourite movie Deck the Halls.

He added: "I love Christmas, and my favourite movie is Deck the Halls and in that Buddy puts all these lights on his house so that it can be seen from space and I saw that and I just wanted my display to be as big as his.

A sign Callum made to tell people the reason behind the display
A sign Callum made to tell people the reason behind the display

" I just don't want Christmas to go because I put in so much effort. I wish Christmas was two months and not just a month."

Pointing to a tall tower of plugs, Callum calls the 'heart', he explained how all of the lights turn on automatically at 4.57pm everyday and then turn off at 9pm.

He said: "What I do is go outside and put a button down, it doesn't work, but I just press it when they are timed to come on."

His dad, Patrick Dunne, who has supported Callum through his struggles with autism, said this is something that 'keeps him going'.

He said: "Having autism means we do have our challenges with him but he has a good heart and it is nice that he is doing something to help the community.

"We are proud of him and this keeps him going, and if he breaks last years record that will make him feel he has achieved something."

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.

Collection pots sit outside the display
Collection pots sit outside the display

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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