'Jawdropping' Bracknell Mini with 3000 Christmas lights returns aiming to raise £10,000 for charity

The driver of a Mini decorated in 3,000 twinkling lights hopes to raise more than £10,000 for charity whilst "bringing little moments of joy to people's lives" this Christmas.

Nicholas Martin, 33, is celebrating his fifth year behind the wheel of his 'Festive Mini'.

However, this time around he has taken things a stage further, creating a show with thousands of app-controlled, battery-powered lights.

Credit: PA Images

As Christmas approaches, Mr Martin will take to the streets of his local town Bracknell to raise money for The Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Trust and Duchenne UK.

Each individual light is available to sponsor for £2.

"The Festive Mini actually has a purpose and its purpose is to bring joy to as many people as possible," Nicholas, a software engineer, said.

"People just get blown away when they see it.

"They have an expectation of what it might look like but when they actually see it, their jaw just drops. It brings little moments of joy to people's lives."

Mr Martin first started driving his decorated Mini in 2018 "as a bit of fun," when he wrapped his red car in around 600 supermarket-bought LEDs.

It garnered attention on a local Facebook group and when people were asking for its return in 2019, Mr Martin decided to go "bigger and brighter and a lot more festive".

He drove around public spaces and near shops but did not do any street visits.

That was until he was invited to the home of then-11-year-old Marcus Rooks, who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a genetic condition that causes degeneration of muscles.

"With a muscle wasting disease, you lose the ability to walk and stuff like that - it's a really horrible thing," Mr Martin explained.

"So Marcus wasn't able to go out to all of these wonderful places to see Christmas lights.

"Somebody invited me and said, 'Why don't you surprise Marcus with a visit from The Festive Mini?' So I did just that."When I saw his face light up, it hit me with so many emotions."

Even the COVID lockdowns were not enough to stop Nicholas from continuing his charitable efforts.

Four years on from that initial inspiration, he's still going, ready to spread Christmas cheer in Bracknell and beyond all over again.