A GRANDMOTHER has been busy spreading Christmas cheer in the name of charity as she continues a festive tradition that dates back more than 20 years.

June Baker is staging an open house event after kitting out her front room with a Christmas display featuring memorabilia from across the globe.

Throughout December she will be inviting neighbours and residents into her Harrow Way home to soak up the festive spirit, whilst accepting donations to her chosen charity, the Great Ormond Street Hospital.

The 78-year-old has been hosting such events since 1998 and collecting her Christmas characters since 1993.

“It all started with the Father Christmas,” she said.

“I just loved the Father Christmas, so we bought him and then we bought a couple more things.

“And then I thought, well I will just keep on buying them. I’ve had lots given to me as presents too.”

Her range of collectibles include various Father Christmas figures, model houses, shops and carousels, as well as whole host of Disney characters – including a Beauty and the Beast figurine worth £1,000 that was given to her as a gift.

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Each year she adds to the collection, and now has so many items that she has to rotate which ones feature in the final display.

“There’s quite a few things in this year that weren’t in there last year,” she continued.

“We have to buy something new every year, otherwise they will think it’s the same thing.”

"It's hard work but it's worth every second of it - it's lovely," she added.

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June says she visits America once every year or so and many of the items on display have been brought back from across the pond - including an oversized Santa Claus that she had to convince baggage checkers to allow her to carry on the plane.

“He said, ‘what have you got in that box?’ and I said, ‘it’s Father Christmas, I do an open house for charity for Great Ormond Street Hospital,’ and so he let me take it through.”

June has raised funds for a number of charities in previous years, but this time the proceeds will be going to the Great Ormond Street Hospital.

She said: “I’ve got two grandchildren and one of them was in Great Ormond Street Hospital.

“I’ve done Cancer Research UK, I’ve done Help for Heroes, I’ve done lots. But Great Ormond Street Hospital – I think it’s wonderful. And every little helps for them.”

Visitors will be able to see the display throughout December and beyond, with the open house event set to run until January 4.

To call in advance of a visit contact 01264 391494 or go to 15 Harrow Way, Andover.