Appeal hits �415,000

FUNDRAISERS have helped an appeal to build a new children’s hospice in Suffolk top �415,000.

In just 10 weeks, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) Treehouse Appeal total has rocketed to �415,385 thanks to donations from supporters and East Anglian Daily Times readers.

The appeal was launched to raise �3million to build a new hospice off Bixley Road in Ipswich to care for life-threatened youngsters and their families throughout Suffolk and north Essex.

Melanie Chew, director of fundraising for the charity, said: “This is terrific news.

“I’m delighted by the support. It feels as though the appeal has really built up a head of steam.”

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Among the scores of fundraisers has been Hollie-Mae Parkins, six, who raised �225 for the appeal in tribute to her brother, Samuel, who was the first child to die at EACH’s current home in Walker Close, Ipswich, back in 2000.

Along with her friend Sophie Goodhand, five, and Sophie’s mum, Karen, Hollie-Mae took part in the Felixstowe Rotary Club Road Race last month, running four miles around the town’s seafront mile circuit in an hour.

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Hollie-Mae’s dad, Adam, 37, of Church Lane, Felixstowe, said he was very proud of his daughter’s effort.

“Hollie-Mae knew about her big brother and wanted to raise money for the appeal with her friend,” he said.

“She understands Sam’s in heaven and she knew the hospice was a special place.”

Staff cared for Mr Parkins and his wife Rachel when Samuel, who suffered from spinal muscular atrophy, was treated at the hospice for three weeks before he died, aged just nine-and-a-half months old.

Mr Parkins has pledged his support for the project to complete a new, specially-designed facility in Ipswich so more families can benefit from the charity’s care.

“The hospice is a fantastic place,” he said. “But they need a bigger centre so they can help more people like they helped us.

“I feel being at the hospice gave us a few extra days with Sam just by being there.”

The Treehouse Appeal will be at stand 180 at the Suffolk Show on Wednesday and Thursday at Trinity Park in Ipswich and organisers are appealing for donations of any old foreign currency.

For more details about the campaign or to make a donation, view the form, left, or visit

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