Kind-hearted sixth formers boost cancer centre appeal with wishing tree in Tower Ramparts shopping centre

Sixth former from Coplestone High School,with their charity Wishing Tree, from left, Areesha Khalid,

Sixth former from Coplestone High School,with their charity Wishing Tree, from left, Areesha Khalid, Apple May Bustamante, Yvonne Bobadilla, Elliot Woods and Reshmi Bibi. - Credit: Archant

A group of sixth form pupils from Ipswich have helped to raise vital funds towards a new cancer centre at the town’s hospital through a campaign at a busy shopping centre.

The team of five from Copleston High School set up a “wishing tree” inside Tower Ramparts, with shoppers encouraged to make a 50p donation to tie a ribbon to it. The event is thought to have raised between £90-100.

Among the group was 17-year-old Elliot Wood, of Heath Road, whose mother went through surgery and chemotherapy treatment at Ipswich Hospital.

He said: “I remember it quite vividly and my mum’s treatment there was good and she is now healthy and well.

“It’s not a matter of anything being wrong with the services they have there as they are excellent, it’s just a matter of improvement.

“So when we got to choose our charity it was my mum who suggested it and when I mentioned it to the others we all agreed.”

The funds raised from the initiative, which was launched during late-night shopping and carried on through to the Saturday rush, was in aid of Woolverstone Wish. This has now formed with Macmillan to help create a £4.7million state-of-the-art cancer centre at Ipswich Hospital.

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The members of the fundraising group included Reshmi Bibi and Apple-May Bustamante, 16, and 17-year-olds Yvonne Bobadilla, Areesha Khalid and Elliot. The initiative formed part of their National Citizenship Service work.

Mike Sorhaindo, manager of the Tower Ramparts Shopping Centre, said: “Woolverstone Wish is a wonderful local charity and when we were apporoached to help the students raise money for it we were delighted to be able to help.

“They have made a fantastic effort and deserve all our support. Christmas is about giving and they have given so much time and effort to this excellent cause.”

The dedication of the students has also been appreciated and acknowledged by Woolverstone Wish.

Hazel Pratt, from the charity, said: “It’s really lovely to see young people getting involved in doing charity work for us. It’s particularly nice as they’re not just raising money, they’re helping us raise awareness and that’s so important for us in what we’re trying to do.”