Hospice appeal tops �160,000 as building work starts

DOUBLE celebrations were in order as an appeal for a new children’s hospice in Suffolk topped �160,000 on the day diggers moved in to start building work.

The foundations for the �3million centre off Bixley Road in Ipswich were being sunk yesterday as the East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) project took another leap forward.

Thanks in part to donations from East Anglian Daily Times readers, EACH’s Treehouse Appeal has reached �160,000 in just three weeks.

Melanie Chew, director of fundraising at EACH, said: “It is immensely exciting to see the building work coming along.

“We are so excited to be able to announce such an exciting total on the day we really start seeing work take place.”

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Thanks to generous pledges, coffee mornings, charity runs and fundraising ideas from supporters, the Treehouse Appeal is gathering steam.

Watching the work take place, Melanie thanked EADT readers for their vital efforts to boost the campaign.

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“We have been overwhelmed by the support from East Anglian Daily Times readers,” she said. “People are filling in their coupons and ringing the office with their fundraising ideas.

“The momentum is growing and I hope people continue to support us throughout the coming year.”

Graham Butland, EACH chief executive, got behind the controls of a massive pile driver to help sink some of the 149 augured piles which are being buried eight metres deep in the soil to support the final structure.

He said: “It is great to see it taking shape.

“It is going to be a tranquil haven which, for some families, is so important.”

Barnes Construction is undertaking the work, which will take around 15 months to complete.

Mr Butland said he was delighted with the fantastic support the campaign had received.

“It’s very encouraging,” he said. “We are absolutely delighted with the response because these are difficult times for some people.

“The generosity of people in Suffolk and the east is really coming through.”

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