Charity fundraiser Ted, 8, switches on Downing Street Christmas lights


The Christmas tree lights outside 10 Downing Street have been switched on by an eight-year-old boy who raised £80,000 for charity after having open heart surgery.

Ted McCaffrey, from Cheshire, raised the money through a campaign called Team Ted with a range of social media campaigns involving his teddy bear Rufus.

In total, 20 young recipients of the Points of Light award were in Downing Street with Prime Minister David Cameron for the switch-on ceremony.

The award is given to "outstanding individual volunteers" who inspire others and make a difference in their community.

Nicola Tipping, from Preston, was there with her husband, Marc, and three sons, Samuel, Joseph and Isaac, having put on a huge Christmas lights show in their road for the last few years.

"For our last big switch-on we closed the road and had about 2,000 people came - we had a DJ, fire engine, brass band and we raised £23,000 for charity," she said.

"We didn't have the big switch-on this year but the lights are on and we are collecting for four charities."

The family were shown around Number 10 and Samuel said it was an "honour" to see the pictures of past prime ministers.

Mr Cameron introduced the watching crowd to Ted, before a countdown from five preceded the switch being flicked.

Six carol singers from the all-female choir from the Christ Apostolistic Church in Hackney, east London, sang Ding Dong Merrily On High as the Prime Minister introduced himself to the other winners.

The 20ft (6m) tree features a special Downing Street black bauble which has the number 10 on it in the same style as the famous front door.

The tree was selected by Andrew Ingram, who beat more than 100 other entrants to win the Champion Tree category at the British Christmas Tree Growers' Association.

There is also a smaller tree within Number 10, which was selected by Hans Alexanderson, who came second in the Champion Tree category and was judged to have the Champion Wreath, which will hang on the Prime Minister's door this Christmas.