Jake meets Prince William after Radio 1 award
Jake Skinner (back row, second left) with Prince William, DJ Greg James and other teen Hero award winners
A DOWNEND teenager who has raised thousands of pounds for a cancer charity says meeting Prince William was a "once in a lifetime experience".
Jake Skinner, aged 14, was invited to Kensington Palace along with other recipients of Radio 1 DJ Greg James’s Teen Heroes award.
Jake, who attends Mangotsfield School, has been raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support over the past four years in memory of his sister Stacie, who died aged 17 of anaphylactic shock on Christmas Day 2015.
Stacie used to decorate her work desk with Christmas lights, and when her colleagues returned them to the family, Jake decided to remember her by illuminating their house in Crossfield Road, Staple Hill, over the festive period.
Jake has now moved to Sutherland Avenue in Downend and has continued the tradition there.
He is aiming to take the overall total he has raised for Macmillan past £10,000 this Christmas.
His 2021 donations had already passed £3,600 by mid-December – ahead of last year's £2,500.
Jake's mum Claire nominated him for the Teen Hero award, which saw him co-host the Radio 1 Breakfast Show with James on December 3.
Four days later he was back in London with the other award winners for his royal appointment.
Jake said: "It was such a great experience going to Kensington Palace and meeting Prince William.
"He was so kind and really interested in everything that we had achieved.
"A real once-in-a-lifetime experience, and something that will drive me to continue to raise as much money as possible for Macmillan and all the people they support."
Jake designs and fits the display himself.
He chose to support Macmillan after his nan was diagnosed with cancer.
Jake’s dad Jeff said: "He started with literally a few lights from Stacie and what we had at home now it’s come to this.
"We are all incredibly proud of Jake and all of the effort and dedication he puts into the light display each year.
"At times it really does scare me how well he has done. It doesn’t change him one bit.”
Macmillan Fundraising Manager Kaeti Morrison said: "Jake is an amazing young man and we can’t thank him and his family enough for continuing to raise money for Macmillan. Since the pandemic hit our income has been severely impacted so having the loyal support of people like Jake and his family is just wonderful and appreciated by us all."
Jake’s display will run until the New Year.
Donations can be made online at justgiving.com/JakesChristmasLights