EADT campaign raises £83k for hospice

TODAY sees the end of the East Anglian Daily Times' Make Each Day Count campaign to raise vital funds for St Elizabeth Hospice.

Craig Robinson

TODAY sees the end of the East Anglian Daily Times' Make Each Day Count campaign to raise vital funds for St Elizabeth Hospice.

A superb £83,000 has been donated to the Ipswich charity - enough money to pay for 284 days of care at the in-patient unit or more than 2,500 counselling sessions with the family support team.

The cash would also provide 1,297 music therapy sessions, 16,600 specially prepared meals for one or 1,137 physiotherapy sessions.

The appeal was first launched in February last year to help staff in their efforts to provide crucial end of life care and support to terminally ill patients, their family and friends.

In that time people have been extremely generous in their support - raising money through mountain treks, marathon runs, gospel concerts, sponsored head shaves and cake sales.

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Readers have also had the chance to learn a little more about the valuable work of the hospice in interviews with patients and staff.

Lesley Cockerton, chief executive at St Elizabeth, said: “We are extremely grateful for the generosity and support that EADT readers have shown throughout this campaign.

“In January last year I asked the readers to support our appeal to help us make a real difference to the lives of our patients and their families and this is exactly what they have done.

“We have had a staggering £83,000 in donations for this appeal and we have heard many positive stories of personal experience of the hospice and unusual ways in which groups in the community have fundraised for us.

“It costs in the region of £4m each year to continue providing our services in east Suffolk and we rely on contributions from individuals, community groups and companies to enable us to plan for the future.

“Our main aim is to improve the quality of life of our patients and support their families, friends and carers. Once again, thank you to all those that continue to support us and help make each day count.”

St Elizabeth Hospice is heavily dependent on donations and has to raise £4.2m every year if its staff and volunteers are to continue to provide their valuable service.

The total includes money from 10-year-olds Callum Fray, Oliver Johns, Josh McLean and Ellyn Friar, of Gorseland School, Martlesham, who asked their friends to donate money to the campaign instead of receiving birthday presents.

Other contributions have been received from the people of Hadleigh and Watkins, Stewart and Ross solicitors in Ipswich who both raised more than £8,000, staff at Hughes Electrical who raised £3,000, and EADT editor Terry Hunt and news editor Brad Jones, who raised £4,000 following their efforts in 2007's London marathon.

Mr Hunt said: “As always, our readers have responded magnificently to support an excellent cause. To have raised such a large sum of money is absolutely fantastic.”

IT might not yet be summer but St Elizabeth Hospice is already planning the first of its Christmas gift fairs.

The event, which is expected to attract between 60 and 70 stalls, will be held on November 21, 22 and 23 at Trinity Park in Ipswich.

There will be a range of festive gifts on offer as well as a food hall and Christmas entertainment.

Prices for stalls start at £200 and anybody who would like more information should contact Sally Hewetson on 01473 310295 or email mummydoc@hotmail.com .

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