Long Melford/Bury St Edmunds/Steeple Bumpstead: Auction and race night in aid of West Suffolk Hospital bereavement suite raises more than £4,000

Dave, Sarah and George Gooderham, one, and Daves older son Darcy, who is five.

Dave, Sarah and George Gooderham, one, and Daves older son Darcy, who is five. - Credit: Contributed

A COUPLE who have been raising money for the hospital where their premature son received specialist care have been “blown away” by the support for a race night and auction.

The George Gooderham Race Night & Auction – which was launched by Dave and Sarah Gooderham in aid of West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds – has achieved about £4,400.

Their son George, one, weighed 4lb 4oz when he was born six weeks early in February last year.

He spent two-and-a-half weeks in West Suffolk Hospital’s neonatal unit where he gradually gained strength and weight before he was able to go home to Long Melford.

His parents, both 34, decided to raise cash for a bereavement suite at the hospital as a thank-you for the care he received, starting with the auction which closed on Saturday, the same night as the race night at the Red Lion in Steeple Bumpstead, near Haverhill.


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Mr Gooderham, who is communications manager at Ormiston Children and Families Trust, said: “It was astounding to be honest. We are absolutely delighted. Everyone’s support was just incredible really.”

He said the auction item which received the largest bid was an executive box at Portman Road for Ipswich Town’s home match against Leeds United on March 30, which was donated by Archant and achieved £575.

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And a framed Ipswich Town shirt signed by former manager – and Manchester United legend – Roy Keane, which was donated by Newmarket Sports, made £225.

Mr Gooderham, former Ipswich Town writer for the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star, which are published by Archant, said: “If we can thank everyone personally who donated an auction prize, donated a raffle prize and obviously attended the night as well, and if people couldn’t attend they gave us money for raffle tickets. We have been really touched, really humbled by everyone’s support.

“Everyone knows what we are doing it for and why we are doing it and it shows how important everyone views the hospital and its services as well.”

Mr Gooderham said he now needed to start training for the Three Peaks Challenge, which he is undertaking in July with others to raise funds for the £60,000 bereavement suite.

Jan Bloomfield, executive director with responsibility for fundraising at West Suffolk Hospital, said: “The money Dave and Sarah have raised will go towards our new bereavement suite, which will be a really important facility for parents who sadly lose their babies. We would like to thank both Dave and Sarah, and everyone who supported Saturday’s event, for their generosity.”

Anyone who still wants to donate funds for the race night can email georgegooderhamracenight@ hotmail.co.uk

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