A festive family from Northfleet has created a mini winter wonderland in their front garden – all in the name of charity.

Paul Matthews and his wife Lisa started decorating their house in Romney Road for their children, but toned it down when they flew the nest.

However, when their first grandchild came along eight years ago, the festivities returned and have grown year on year, so much so that last year people were wondering if they was doing it for a good cause.

Mr Matthews, an oil refinery inspector, said: “I am a festive person, I love Christmas. I love to see the kids smiling faces, which was always enough.

“The year before last we had a lot of people coming and taking photographs, and asking if we were donating for charity. Last year we decided to give that a go and raised £500, which was way beyond what we expected. People’s reactions were just brilliant.”

The decorations took six days to put up, complete with a candy cane arch, which is perfect for photo opportunities.

Paul said: “Of course it is a lot of work. I did it at weekends and in the evenings after work. Obviously though it is worth it.

“If I’ve inspired a bit of festivity, then that is great. I walk to work, see people smiling. That’s a good feeling.”

Donations this year are being given to the Ellenor Hospice, which provides care for families facing terminal illness in Kent and Bexley.

The target this year is £750, which Paul admits may be tricky to reach – but there has already been one bucket filled with donations.

He said: “It’s a little bit out there, but we will definitely give it a good go!”

People have left messages of support for Paul and Lisa and their mini wonderland, with one person saying: “We came yesterday and my boy loved it!

Another said: “Great job, look at the pleasure you have given people, while raising money for such a good cause, thank you and Merry Christmas to you and your family.”

To donate online, you can go to Paul's Justgiving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/paul-matthews33