Kennington man's Christmas lights display his 'biggest yet'

A man is hoping the annual Christmas lights switch-on at his village home will raise more money for charity than previous years.

Martin Claridge has been putting up a festive display every year at his home in Kennington, Oxfordshire, for local causes.

This year, Mr Claridge is fundraising for Sobell House Hospice, Oxford Hospitals Charity and the John Radcliffe Hospital.

His previous best was more than £1,100.

Mr Claridge has been decorating his home with Christmas lights for four years, making the display "bigger every year".

He said he might have used "5,000 lights or more" in 2023, adding the setup had taken him four weeks.

On Friday evening, he tested all the lights in front of a cheering crowd, ahead of the official switch-on on 17 November.

"It's amazing when I hear [people] counting down, it shows what support we do get," Mr Claridge said.

"It's one time of the year when you enjoy yourself, cheer everybody else up as well."

New additions to his display are golden and silver reindeer jumping into a neighbouring garden.

Mr Claridge said he was "very thankful" that his neighbour "let us put them up".

Beth Marsh from Sobell House said the event had been "amazing".

"So many lights - it's brilliant!" she said. "It's a... painful time for people who've suffered a loss around Christmas time or any time when they're not with their loved ones so [it's] really special."

David Child from Oxford Hospitals Charity said: "Not only is the generosity of the community absolutely brilliant but also the awareness Martin raises for us too."

"Chatting to people about their stories and how much they care about the hospitals and the difference their donations make is really truly special," he added.

Follow BBC South on Facebook, X, or Instagram. Send your story ideas to