Children's hospice appeal launch

AN ambitious appeal to raise �3m for a new children's hospice in Suffolk will be launched today.Author Antony Horowitz will kick start the Treehouse Appeal for East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) to build a centre to care for life-threatened children and their families from across the county.

AN ambitious appeal to raise �3m for a new children's hospice in Suffolk will be launched today.

Author Antony Horowitz will kick start the Treehouse Appeal for East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) to build a centre to care for life-threatened children and their families from across the county.

Plans to create a purpose-built hospice in four acres of woodland in Ipswich will be unveiled at an official launch this morning.

Foyle's War author Mr Horowitz, who has a home at Orford in Suffolk, said: 'I cannot imagine what it must be like to have a child who is critically ill. EACH is at the heart of Suffolk and I cannot wait to see the new building standing.'

The acclaimed children's author is backing the bid to create a new six-bedroom unit with hydro, physio and occupational therapy areas as well as a music room.

The facility will provide end-of-life care and short-break stays for around 80 families which are currently provided in a modest bungalow in the grounds of Ipswich Hospital.

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Families staying at the current bungalow in the final stages of their child's life have to sleep on a sofa bed in a cramped bedroom which also doubles as a music therapy room.

If the vital cash can be raised, the contemporary hospice will be built in tranquil woodland surroundings, with six bedrooms for youngsters as well as en-suite accommodation for family members.

The new building will have a quiet room, staff areas, offices and peaceful, landscaped grounds where youngsters can relax and spend quiet time.

EACH bosses hope the new facility will allow the charity to help some of the 400 children and young people in the area who need their support.

Melanie Chew, director of fundraising at EACH, said: 'Demand for the care and support we provide has increased and we have subsequently outgrown our current building.

'I am now appealing to people all over the region to help us raise the funds needed to complete the project.'

Thanks to the donation of the �500,000 site by a charitable trust, dreams of opening the new hospice are tantalisingly close to becoming a reality.

Other celebrities such as Suffolk-based television star Griff Rhys Jones, the jockey Frankie Dettori and Radio 2 DJ Simon Mayo have also lent their support to the appeal, which will embark on fundraising events throughout the year.

To find out more about the Treehouse Appeal, or to make a donation, visit www.each.org.uk/ treehouse or call 01473 276115.

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