Record amount raised for Billy’s Steps in Caister

Fundraisers Jane and Barry Cockrill who have raised three thousand six hundred and thirty pounds for

Fundraisers Jane and Barry Cockrill who have raised three thousand six hundred and thirty pounds for Billy Steps. The couple decorate the complete exterior of their home. Presenting the cheque to Marc and Irene Child's and their son Billy. Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

A record amount has been raised by Caister's own Mr and Mrs Christmas, as they wind down after another year of twinkling lights and festivities.

The home of Barry and Jane Cockrill has been transformed into a winter wonderland with the use of t

The home of Barry and Jane Cockrill has been transformed into a winter wonderland with the use of thousands of Christmas lights. Barry and Jane. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Four years ago, Jane and Barry Cockrill, of Kipling Close, Caister, began putting a charity collection pot outside their decorated home, where people would come to see thousands of lights, and illuminated reindeer, polar bears and penguins.

The couple had always enjoyed decorating their house for Christmas, but didn't think about the fundraising element until recently.

'Because we live in a cul-de-sac, we didn't think people would see,' said Jane, 58. 'But a few years ago we put a pot out to start a collection for Willow Freeman, who has a rare intestinal condition. We raised around £2000 for Willow last year.'

This year, the couple have raised £3630.98 for Billy's Steps, a fund to support Billy Childs, of Caister, who has cerebral palsy.

The money raised will be used to help billy continue with his physiotherapy with the aim of helping Billy to walk.

Jane, who is a partners at Saks hairdressers, said: 'We're over the moon, it's more than we've ever raised and the driveway was full of people every evening. Lots of the children were saying 'I think Father Christmas actually lives here'!'

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'People were just so generous, and of course we enjoyed it too.'

Barry now has the mammoth task of taking down the decorations, which were displayed between December 1 - January 1. They took him around seven weeks to put up before hand.

Irene Childs, Billy's mum, said: 'It's way beyond what we expected and obviously the one thing we want to say is thank you to Jane and Barry.

'We're chuffed for them too, because we know how much they enjoy it and how much effort goes into it. Every time we've been around, Barry has been outside tinkering with them, commitment wise it is unbelievable.'

Irene said she had taken Billy and the family to see the lights a few times.

'I think Billy truly believes that Father Christmas lives there,' she added.

On Christmas Eve, the Childs family announced that Billy's Steps had reached the milestone of raising £60,000 in just a year. It means that Billy, 4, can have a life-changing operation in February that will see him take his first steps and live as full a life as possible.

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