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Saturday, April 20, 2024
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Wrekin’s Shaun helps light the way

A member of staff at The Wrekin Housing Group who has been lighting up his home with Christmas decorations in aid of charity has received a funding boost from a local business.

The festive lights display at Shaun's home include a full-sized sleigh made by Wrekin apprentices
The festive lights display at Shaun’s home include a full-sized sleigh made by Wrekin apprentices

The impressive festive display at Shaun Pickering’s home in Dawley is back for a fifth year, with his brother Ryan and sister Louise joining in by decorating their own houses nearby.

The siblings, who put on the spectacle every year in memory of their father and uncle, have now smashed their fundraising target for Telford Mind thanks to a £2,000 donation from Dodd Group.

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The company heard about the fundraiser after working with Shaun on a project to fit sprinklers in Wrekin’s high-rise apartment blocks throughout this year, and decided to surprise him with a contribution.

In the last five years the Pickerings have raised over £10,000 for Telford Mind and the British Heart Foundation, with all donations match-funded by Wrekin.

The two charities were selected to honour the memories of their father John Pickering, who died in 2019 aged 59 from heard disease, and uncle Gordon Pickering, who took his own life in 2001.

Shaun said: “We want to do it in memory of my dad and uncle, and to raise awareness for mental health.

“We have had our struggles with mental health as a family – going through school I had mental health struggles myself.

“There was probably no help in 2001 compared to now, but thankfully things have changed in 20 plus years.”

Shaun’s father had been well known in Dawley for his Christmas lights displays, but Shaun has made it his mission to step things up each year in order to keep drawing in the crowds.

He said: “We used to do the displays before my dad passed away but nothing as big as what we do now.

“We have got a full-sized sleigh that the apprentices at Wrekin built, and they built us a replica Coca-Cola truck.

“Next year we are going to make something new and completely change the displays.

“The joy we see on kids’ faces – and adults’ – when they come to see the lights makes it all worth it. I always encourage people to come into the garden to have pictures in the sleigh.”

Shaun, a resident safety technician with Wrekin, was at work earlier this week when the site manager from Dodd Group mentioned that the company would like to contribute towards his fundraiser.

Shaun said: “When I checked the JustGiving page it was a massive surprise to see the £2,000 donation.

“We had a target of £1,000 and we thought we were going to struggle to meet that, but now we have smashed it out of the water.

“I have been working very closely with Dodd Group since February, they have got to know me and I have got to know them very well, so when it was coming up to the end of summer I was telling them about my lights and what I would be doing. They were always interested to hear about it.

“We are really grateful for this donation, it will make a huge difference to the charity.”

Dave Blackwood, site manager from Dodd Group, said: “We have built a close relationship with Shaun and his team, and he had told us about how he has been raising money for Mind and various other charities for a few years.

“We decided that we would put something back into the local community by making a donation.

“We set aside money on jobs like this for local charities and this is a very worthy cause.”

The displays can bee seen at 23 Manor Road, 69 Webb Crescent and 89 Webb Crescent, all in Dawley.

To make a donation, go to justgiving.com and search ‘Pickering Christmas Lights 2023’.

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