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Suffolk and Essex: Fundraisers hit East Anglia’s Children’s Hospice Treehouse appeal jackpot

PUBLISHED: 10:19 04 March 2011

The EACH Treehouse team celebrate reaching their appeal goal

The EACH Treehouse team celebrate reaching their appeal goal

Archant

EXCITED fundraisers are celebrating today after an appeal for a new children’s hospice hit its £3million target.

It has taken just under one year to raise the amount set by East Anglia’s Children’s Hospice (EACH) Treehouse Appeal for the hospice on the outskirts of Ipswich.

The success of the Treehouse Appeal, which has been supported by the EADT, means the state-of-the-art building in St Augustine’s Gardens is set to open in May and will offer children and their families a wide range of facilities.

Melanie Chew, EACH director of fundraising, said: “The ability to reach the £3m target has been made possible by the overwhelming generosity displayed by charitable trusts, businesses, individuals, schools and community groups across Suffolk, Essex, East Anglia and beyond.

“The community has exceeded all expectation and we would like to express out heartfelt thanks to everyone who has played a part in reaching this goal.

“The Treehouse Appeal has provided us with a brand new purpose-built hospice with the potential to deliver better care to a greater number of families across Suffolk and North Essex.

“To achieve this, we hope those who have been a part of the Treehouse Appeal will continue to support us so we can continue to deliver vital care and support to those who need us most.”

The old hospice in Walker Close, in Ipswich, opened in 1999 as a pilot project, but demand for services had grown so significantly that the facility was unable to meet the needs of life-threatened children and their families.

To overcome these obstacles, the £3m Treehouse Appeal was launched on March 16 last year following the donation of a four-acre woodland plot.

An ambitious fundraising schedule was then drawn-up and the people of Suffolk and north Essex embraced it.

The fundraising total has grown steadily throughout the appeal, and the charity managed to hit its £3m target this week thanks to a number of large donations, including a cheque for £100,000 from Suffolk Freemasons.

The result of everyone’s efforts is a purpose-built hospice, which will offer previously unavailable services including hydrotherapy and separate over-night accommodation for families.

Tracy Rennie, EACH director of care, said: “Our new hospice in Ipswich has revolutionised the provision of children’s hospice care across Suffolk and north Essex – allowing an even higher quality of care and support to be delivered to a greater number of families.”

Terry Hunt, EADT editor, said: “The generosity of our readers, and the wider public, has been nothing short of incredible.

“To raise £3m in little more than a year, in the current difficult economic climate, is a great tribute to the kindness of so many individuals, businesses, schools, and other community groups. We are proud to have been wholehearted supporters of the Treehouse Appeal, and we knew our readers would be extremely generous, but I have to admit I’m astonished and delighted with the speed at which the total has been raised.’’

BBC Radio Suffolk will be broadcasting special programmes to celebrate the success of the Treehouse Appeal from 6am until 12.30pm today.

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