MASTER illuminator Alex Goodhind has come up with a shining example of how to raise money for a local charity.

The 23-year-old spends five weeks and upward of £1,000 each year transforming his father's house in Longford Road, Melksham, into a beacon of Christmas spirit.

The complexity of the display and the effort that goes into it is increasingly spectacular each year.

Alex, a former George Ward School pupil, blames his father Colin, 57, for buying him his first set of lights when he was young and kicking off a project that has grown exponentially each year since the first display he put together, aged 11.

His display now features more than 300 strings of lights, 145 rope light frames, 18 blow-moulded plastic figures and a number of large inflatable figures.

Highlights include a giant blow-up Homer Simpson dressed up as Santa, a cello-playing snowman, a set of glowing Victorian carol-singers, Father Christmas driving a small sports car, and an illuminated reindeer that Alex brought back from America seven years ago.

Since his mother Gill died of pancreatic cancer two years ago Alex has raised more than £4,000 for Dorothy House Hospice in Winsley, which gives respite care and treatment to people with life threatening illnesses.

Alex said: "It might have started off as a personal challenge but it's not really about that any more. In fact it's taking up more and more of my time each year and the only reason I carry on is because of the effect it has on people who come to visit and the fact that it helps me raise so much money for Dorothy House.

"We raised money for charity before mum died but the whole family was so comforted by the hospice that we decided they deserved the money most. It's a charity that really hits home.

"When it's wet or cold people sometimes don't get out of their cars to donate money but it's good to see that it brings enjoyment."

If you are lucky enough to see the display, don't forget to drop some change into the tube in the fence. All proceeds go to Dorothy House Hospice.