THE PRIESTWOOD community gathered for a Christmas light switch-on in memory of a young man.

On October 19 last year Alex Elkington died while on holiday with his family in Poole.

The 22 year-old suffered from cerebral palsy following complications at birth and died after developing a chest infection his weakened immune system was unable to fight.

At 5.30pm November 1 the Elkingtons switched on the now famous Christmas lights on their house, 35 Moordale Avenue, with a special appearance from Mickey Mouse and a firework display.

Joshua Elkington, Alex's brother, said: "It means a lot to have people turn up.

"It is really heartwarming to know that people were there for Alex.

"We made £243 which will go towards paying for his headstone.

Mr Elkington said adapting to life without Alex had been particularly difficult for his parents Ana and Clive.

"I have been okay because I have tried to be the strong one for the rest of the family," he continued.

"There are some days I will come downstairs and find mum looking at his bedroom, just staring at the walls.

"It is hard having a routine for 22 years then not having anything. They are used to waking up every morning, getting him out of bed, feeding him and changing him.

"They had a routine looking after Alex. They just have themselves to look after now."