Appeal for Suffolk children’s hospice hits �3m target

EXCITED fundraisers are celebrating today after an appeal for a new children's hospice hit its �3m target.

It has taken just under a year to raise the amount set by East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) Treehouse Appeal for the hospice on the outskirts of Ipswich.

The success of the Treehouse Appeal means the state-of-the-art building in St Augustine's Gardens is set to open in May, offering offering children and their families a wide range of facilities.

Melanie Chew, EACH director of fundraising, said: 'The ability to reach the �3m target has been made possible by the overwhelming generosity displayed by charitable trusts, businesses, individuals, schools and community groups across Suffolk, Essex, East Anglia and beyond.

'The community has exceeded all expectation and we would like to express out heartfelt thanks to everyone who has played a part in reaching this goal.

'The Treehouse Appeal has provided us with a brand new purpose-built hospice with the potential to deliver better care to a greater number of families across Suffolk and North Essex.

'To achieve this, we hope those who have been a part of the Treehouse Appeal will continue to support us so we can continue to deliver vital care and support to those who need us most.'

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The old hospice in Walker Close, in Ipswich, opened in 1999 as a pilot project, but demand for services had grown so significantly that the facility was unable to meet the needs of life-threatened children and their families.

To overcome these obstacles, the �3m Treehouse Appeal was launched on March 16 last year following the donation of a four-acre woodland plot.

An ambitious fundraising schedule was then drawn-up and the people of Suffolk and north Essex embraced it, organising and taking part in an array of fundraising events from bring and buy sales to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

The fundraising total has grown steadily throughout the appeal, and the charity managed to hit its �3m target this week thanks to a number of large donations, including a cheque for �100,000 from Suffolk Freemasons.

The result of everyone's efforts is a purpose-built hospice, which will offer previously unavailable services including hydrotherapy and separate over-night accommodation for families.

Tracy Rennie, EACH director of care, said: 'Our new hospice in Ipswich has revolutionised the provision of children's hospice care across Suffolk and north Essex – allowing an even higher quality of care and support to be delivered to a greater number of families.'

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