Putting art and soul into fundraising

HOLLYWOOD stars and high school students have created stunning deckchair designs to boost a Suffolk hospice.

Lord of the Rings star Bernard Hill, cartoonist Annie Tempest and Norfolk author Joyce Dunbar have created the sunny seats in aid of St Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich.

The colourful creations brought beach sunshine to the grey Suffolk skies yesterday as they started a six-month tour of the county before being auctioned off in the autumn.

Jane Loughlin, chief executive of the hospice in Foxhall Road, said: “It’s absolutely superb.

“The designs are stunning and so diverse.

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“Suffolk is well known for its wonderful coastline and this was a fantastic opportunity for people to express their own emotions, feelings and joys.”

Anthony Horowitz, author of the Alex Rider novels, Mr Benn creator Dave McKee and artist Susan Gunn have also donated beautiful images for the appeal.

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Talented students from Leiston High School won a county-wide competition to paint their own deckchair canvas, which will form part of the exhibition.

Megan Rushbrook, 14 and Charmaine Crossman, 13, proudly unveiled their winning entries at the launch yesterday. Around 44 of the fantastic chairs will visit Snape Maltings, The Cut in Halesworth and Christchurch Mansion in Ipswich before going under the hammer at Glemham Hall near Woodbridge on October 1.

The project hopes to raise crucial funds for the centre, which costs �5.9million a year to run, which is �11 a minute.

Ann McBride, 44, from Framsden, was part of the team which dreamed up the deckchairs idea after her sister, Sheila, was cared for at home before dying of breast cancer in 1989, aged just 30.

Mrs McBride said: “We have been absolutely astounded by the inventiveness and diversity of the designs.

“This project has such potential, it is a privilege to be involved with it.”

To sponsor a deckchair, visit www.stelizabethhospice.org.uk or call 01473 727776.

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