Galleries: Bumper events for cash-strapped hospice

KINDHEARTED residents have answered a desperate rallying cry and raised around �25,000 for a cash-strapped hospice.

KINDHEARTED residents have answered a desperate rallying cry and raised around �25,000 for a cash-strapped hospice.

Just weeks after St Nicholas Hospice Care was forced to close half of its beds, three fundraising events - including a Royal visit - have capped a memorable weekend for the much-loved charity as it celebrates its 25th anniversary.

Max Milburn, chairman of the hospice's special events committee, said: “This fundraising is really going to make a difference to the hospice. The generosity shows how important the hospice is to everyone. It is a charity most people are attached to.”

On Saturday, the hospice was given a Royal boost when the Duchess of Gloucester attended a gala dinner in the impressive surroundings of St Edmundsbury Cathedral in Bury St Edmunds.


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Paul Abbott, the hospice's fundraising and marketing director, said: “It was absolutely fantastic, a beautiful night and better than we could have possibly imagined. The cathedral looked beautiful.

“We had a wonderful evening. It was so good that the Duchess didn't leave until much later than she was supposed to because she had such a good time.”

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The next day the Euston Rural Pastimes delighted crowds with sheep dogs, axe men, tractors and heavy horses on display at Euston Park.

David Williams of the event said: “There were mums, dads, kids and dogs. It is a nice, friendly, relaxed happy kind of day.”

He added that he hoped around �12,000 would have been collected to be shared between St Nicholas Hospice and local churches.

Sudbury also played its part on Sunday by hosting an open gardens event.

Ian Norris, community fundraiser for St Nicholas Hospice, said: “It was very good despite the weather. “There were 25 gardens open and we had a massive range. There were small town centre gardens, country gardens, and the Red House garden.

“There was a huge variety of flowers that really showed Sudbury up in its best light and let people see places they don't always get to.

“The event was in its 19th year and it's very popular.”

Mr Norris added that the fundraisers were hoping the Sudbury efforts would rake in about �4,000.

These three timely boosts could soon be graced with another five-figure sum after a renowned artist donated a painting depicting the Queen's recent visit to the historic town.

The painting donated by Ned Pamphilon will be auctioned at Lacy Scott and Knight in Bury.

The work of art, captured when the Queen visited Bury for the Maundy Money service, can currently be bid for online - at www.lsk.co.uk - with the final sale on Saturday. Prints of the painting are also available from St Nicholas Hospice Care shops.

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