Local fundraiser given prestigious award at Hoylake Christmas Lights switch-on

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04 Dec 2017
Local fundraiser Derek Holmes has been awarded with the Prime Minister’s prestigious Points of Light award for outstanding voluntary work and fundraising in the local community.

Points of Light are outstanding individual volunteers – people who are making a change in their community. Every week day the Prime Minister recognises an inspirational volunteer with the Daily Points of Light award.

Wirral West MP Margret Greenwood was on hand to present the award at the switch-on of Hoylake’s Christmas lights, which was performed by Derek’s daughters Imogen (8) and Caitlin (7), and local girl India Williams (6).

Derek has been inspired to base his fundraising efforts around his distinctive Volkswagon Beetle car to engage people in his community and act as a focal point for collections. His creative efforts, which include dressing up the car according to what he is fundraising for, helped raise £16,000 for this year’s Christmas lights in Hoylake.

In a personal letter to Derek, the Prime Minister wrote:

“The hundreds of people that you have inspired by creatively decorating your VW Beetle is a testament of your remarkable positivity and dedication to your local community. You should feel enormously proud of having brought people closer together to fundraise for a variety of charitable causes in a very engaging and inclusive way.”

Speaking at the switch-on, Margaret Greenwood said:

“I am delighted to be able to present Derek with a Points of Light award in recognition of the great work he has done over the years in raising a phenomenal amount of money for many local charities.

“Derek's distinctive Volkswagon Beetle is well known locally, particularly in Hoylake and Meols. It is renowned for its creative and imaginative decorations which change according to what Derek is fundraising for.

“Recently it was dressed up in support of the Poppy Appeal. Tonight, of course, the theme is celebrating Christmas. The Beetle also gets decorated to reflect events that are happening locally and nationally, such as the Hoylake Festival of Firsts and major sporting events. It is often stationed by the entrance to Queens Park, where it is impossible not to notice it when walking or driving past.

“Derek has for so long been a tireless supporter of the local community. He really does deserve this recognition.

“Well done Derek, and thank you for all you do for Hoylake.”

Derek said:

“I’m overwhelmed to be given this award. It’s nice to be recognised for what myself and others are doing for the local community. It has been the best year yet to be involved in Hoylake Christmas lights.

“We are always looking for more volunteers and people can contact us on the Hoylake Christmas Lights facebook page or at hohoho@hoylakevillage.org.uk if they’d like to get involved in the future. We are also looking for more helpers for the Poppy Appeal. If anyone would like to get involved in that please contact me on 0151 632 4101.”

Many locals have taken to Facebook since the switch-on to comment on how much they enjoyed the event and to lavish praise on Derek.

Lynne Treble wrote: “Congratulations and well deserved Hoylake looks amazing.”

Brian Anderson wrote: “Well done, Derek Holmes and many, many thanks for all the effort you and your little helpers have put in to making Hoylake look & feel super Christmassy. Good man!”

Nina Allen added: “Well done! Very well deserved for everything you do for our community.”