IT was a great start to the New Year this week as a family whose courageous twin girls have overcome cancer are looking forward to a happy and healthy New Year.

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Megan and Gracie Garwood, seven, have spent the last three Christmases battling acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, but were given the all-clear in February. Mum Emma, said the family, who live in Rougham, near Bury St Edmunds, had “really gone over the top this year” with Christmas festivities and decorations.

In Bury St Edmunds, a retired brewery worker has been generously sharing a £2,500 prize with his family.

Michael Ely, a grandfather-of-three of Crown Street, received an extra Christmas present this year when he was successful in a competition to win Tesco vouchers through the East Anglian Daily Times.

Kate Jackson, from Bungay, has taken a clicker technique usually used to teach dogs and horses to behave and started to use it with rabbits and even a leopard gecko called Boris. She takes her MiniMonsters Creepy Crawly Roadshow to schools and parties across the region and has been using clicker training to teach horses but when she discovered a course in training chickens, she decided to take on the challenge and then expand it.

It’s opening 30 years ago helped transform Ipswich – and these days the Orwell Bridge is as vital as ever, providing a fast route around the town.

The bridge cost £24 million to build as part of the Ipswich by-pass which extends from Martlesham Heath to the Whitehouse interchange – and the bridge itself took more than three years to build, work started in the autumn of 1979.

A woman is recovering this week after her car overturned and smashed into a cottage. The accident happened in Winston, near Debenham, at about 3.15pm and fire crews, police and an ambulance were called to the scene in Fenn Street, which was blocked for more than an hour following the incident.

Two charities received a fundraising boost for their work around Felixstowe. Mayor Mike Deacon’s festive charity concert raised between £800 and £1,000 for the Level Two youth project and FACTs (Felixstowe Area Community Transport Scheme), the two charities he is supporting during his year in office.

The Brewery Tap in Cliff Road, Ipswich, has had an amazing few weeks with the hatching of some beautiful new baby birds and in the last few days three more have joined the avian family; a quail and two ducklings.

Hundreds of families lined the streets of Ipswich as the Rudolph Run, organised by the Ipswich Round Table, made its way through the town.

Neighbourhood runs took place over three weeks and helped to raise nearly £11,000 for Brooke’s Wish to Walk and Mason’s Magic, through donations.

During the prolonged Christmas break, our iwitnesses were out in rural Suffolk capturing our wildlife in action.

John Richardson photographed fallow deer in Bromeswell on his way back from his Christmas meal.

More than 100 people, almost 50 dogs and a llama set out on a bright New Year’s Day to enjoy fine weather and raise money for Help for Heroes.

Fressingfield’s annual sponsored dog walk has already raised more than £58,000 for charity over the last 18 years and this year’s event looks set to be another success, with about £500 collected in donations alone.

Sybil Raynham, of High Street, Bildeston, was surrounded by family and friends for a party to mark her 100th birthday. Mrs Raynham has spent Christmas with her family who have been reading her letter from the Queen.

Abandoned cats and kittens are being kept warm this winter thanks to donated fire blankets as more than 100 blankets were donated to the Ipswich branch of Cats Protection as part of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service’s Electric Blanket Safety campaign.

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