Celebrations as appeal hits �1million

FUNDRAISERS in Suffolk have a million reasons to be happy after an important milestone was reached in the appeal to build a new children’s hospice.

East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) made the announcement yesterday that in less than five months, its Treehouse Appeal has raised a colossal �1million.

The new hospice in woodland off Bixley Road, Ipswich, which will serve children and their families across Suffolk and North Essex, is already taking shape with the outer structure almost complete.

The new six-bedroom facility will eventually replace the hospice’s current base – a small bungalow in Walker Close, Ipswich.

When the hospice was first set up in 1999, there were just six members of staff. Today that number stands at 34. The facility has gone from helping 40 families to 80, with the potential that 400 families from the region that could use the services.

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As well as a dedicated family room, there will also be a music studio, hydrotherapy pool and private contemplation area in the new build.

Graham Butland, chief executive of EACH, said: “It’s fantastic that we have reached the first million in such a short time. The appeal was only launched on March 16 which means that we have been raising just under �7,000 a day since then.

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“We had hoped to be at �750,000 by now so we have reached this point quicker than we thought. However, we are not complacent and we know there is still hard work to do. When the hospice opens in Spring next year, this will be fully paid for.

“We have got to thank the local media, particularly The EADT, because without their help and support we would not be where we are now.

“Children’s hospices are places that all of us hope we will never have to need to use. I think people have seen what we have delivered over the last ten years from a facility which definitely needs improvements to what we will be getting here.

“On behalf of the children and families that will use the new hospice I would like to thank everyone who has contributed so far. It is now heads down for the next million.”

Families currently cared for by EACH visited the site to see the progress being made and they were able to get a sense of what facilities there will be in the new building.

Melanie Chew, EACH director of fundraising, added: “The actual figure reached is �1,018,318. The appeal has been embraced by the people of Suffolk and North Essex and we are incredibly grateful to everyone who has contributed to the appeal so far.

“As the new hospice building begins to take shape we are able to visualise the improved care and support EACH will be able to provide but we can’t do it without financial support from the public.

“We hope the progress we have already made will inspire the local community to fundraise for the Treehouse Appeal.”

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