Nico Martin with a Mini Electric wrapped in thousands of Christmas fairy lights (Jacob King/PA)
A Mini Electric wrapped in 2,000 Christmas lights is to begin a five-week tour of the UK later this month to raise money for three charities.
Nicholas “Nico” Martin, 32, a software engineer from BracknellBerkshire has been wrapping his car in festive lights since 2017, and has been loaned a Mini Electric by the car manufacturer for this year’s tour.
He is hoping to raise £50,000 for the MS Trust, Duchenne UK and Alzheimer’s Society with the dazzling trip, which begins on Thursday in his home town.
Mr Martin first wrapped his Mini in fairy lights for Christmas 2017, displaying it around Bracknell.
In December 2020, amid Covid restrictions, he took his festive Mini to people’s doorsteps to replace the usual Christmas lights displays, raising more than £5,000 for MS Trust and Duchenne UK.
“I just knew last year I had an opportunity to cheer people up and also to raise funds for the MS Trust and Duchenne UK”, he said.
“Both charities mean a lot to me – unfortunately my mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis six years ago, and in 2019 I was asked to take the Festive Mini to surprise an incredible young boy, Marcus Rooks, who was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
“When I saw his face light up with so much joy and excitement, I realised that I had created something truly special. Ever since meeting him and learning about his condition, I’ve wanted to support him in any way I can.”
The lights on Mr Martin’s Mini Electric this year are able to change colour.
Over the coming weeks the car’s tour will include Blackpool, Warwickshire and the Silverstone circuit.
“I can’t wait to get out on the road to spread some festive Mini spirit and raise lots of money for the three charities,” Mr Martin said.
Mini UK’s director David George said: “We’re extremely humbled to be a part of Nico’s fundraising project with the Festive Mini Electric.
“It’s a wonderful idea that will bring people together, make them smile, and also raise funds for some amazing charities.”
To donate to Mr Martin’s fundraiser, go to: www.festivegiving.org.uk/fundraising/festive-mini/.