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Neighbours bring goodwill to Stonehaven with charity light display

Neighbours bring goodwill to Stonehaven with charity light display

There may only be a handful of houses in Malcolm’s Way, but every single one is burning brightly.

Sprinkled in more Christmas lights and cheer than there is sugar on a gingerbread house, each family home in the Stonehaven cul-de-sac has pulled out all the stops to spread some festive spirit.

For the last five years, this group of close-knit neighbours have brought out the prancing glowing reindeer and hedges peppered with fairy lights.

And each year, members of their local community have gathered to see the growing display - so much so, that now Malcolm Way has become quite the main attraction.

"We moved here in 2009 and put up a stretch of pretty terrible lights – the neighbours joked that a plane would land in the driveway as it looked like a runway," laughs Patricia Bruce, one of the light-loving residents.

"But we started properly in 2010 when the neighbours joined in, doing it as a sort of Christmas welcome to the area," she said.

"We live in a cul-de-sac and are very close with our neighbours, we get together in summer and host barbeques and things."

  (Patricia Bruce)
via STV via STV

As the neighbours in Malcolm’s Way started to get more creative with their festive lights, the families decided they would like to raise money for charity with the display.

Hosting official light switch on events, the residents banded together to make vats of soup and mulled wine for visitors who came along to see the spectacle.

And as the event became bigger and better, Patricia noticed they were raising huge amounts of money year on year for charities like CLIC Sargent in partnership with the local Nippy Dip – raising an incredible £3000 in 2011.

And this year, the neighbours decided to support Stonehaven’s Renal Unit to raise money for a dialysis machine

Patricia said: "This year we wanted to do something for our community, somewhere that needed help and support.

"The campaign to bring a dialysis machine to the town is in its last stretch and we wanted to help as it is such a good cause and very important for the local community. It will benefit a lot of folk."

  (Patricia Bruce)
via STV via STV

Joined by two new neighbours this year, who promptly went out and purchased lights to help out the display, Malcolm’s Way continues to demonstrate how neighbourly spirit can help make a difference with a little help from a few thousand strings of lights.

However the neighbours were worried that their now-annual big light switch on last weekend wouldn't be a success – as they had accidentally scheduled it for the same evening as the Stonehaven’s own light switch on parade.

"Over 200 people showed up, we were so shocked," said Patricia. "We raised £1200 just on the opening light alone which is amazing.

"It’s because of Facebook really, it’s helping to spread the word. We are trying to be more interactive as well – one of the neighbours has a sleigh people can sit in and take a picture in and we want to get a bench for outside our house so people can take pictures.

"It’s something we encourage – we wouldn't do this if we wanted to be private, we want people to take pictures, enjoy the lights and donate what they can."

  (Patricia Bruce)
via STV via STV

With the small cul-de-sac lit from 3.30pm until 10pm each evening, the neighbours have once again been delighted with the response of the community and their generosity, with the donation tin sitting outside the houses helping to raise money for a cause extremely close to the community.

But as Patricia adds: "We are a team. If it wasn't for everyone it would never be as big as it is."

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