A FORMER Blues star made a surprise visit to a group of primary school students after one pupil won a competition this week.

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Nathan Ellington visited 10-year-old Thomas Slator and all of the students at Hadleigh Community Primary School.

Meanwhile current Ipswich Town footballers Tommy Smith, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Andy Drury and Lee Martin visited St Elizabeth Hospice to pledge their support for The Midnight Walk. In just 100 days, scores of people will take to the streets of Ipswich to show their support for the event

Staff at Ipswich’s mental health hospital are celebrating receiving national recognition for their work. Poppy Ward at Woodlands Hospital, which is on the site of Ipswich Hospital in Heath Road, is the latest Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust team to gain Accreditation for Inpatient Mental Health Services.

Trumpeters, trombonists and tuba players played their hearts out raising thousands to help a life-saving charity. Members of the Ipswich Hospital Band, St Peter’s Band and the Training Band, collected £2,990 over the festive period for the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA).

Churchgoers in Bramford are also basking in a warm glow after a new boiler was fitted in their church, nearly two years after the original one stopped working. The shivering 30-strong congregation of St Mary the Virgin Church were forced to meet in a different building during the winter months as the mercury dipped well below freezing and snow fell across the county.

Dee Haining, the Golden Key’s landlady of nearly 13 years, thanked her customers for the memories after she called last orders for the final time this week. The Woodbridge Road pub was a community hub for decades but the last pint has been poured after the owners called time on the venue.

The 50-year-old, who took over as landlady in February 2000, told of her sadness that drinkers had lost their pub.

The Rock Up In Red day launched the start of National Heart Month, with businesses and schools across the county embracing the event by donning red clothes and hats this week. Hundreds of people rocked up in red to join the fight against heart disease.

Communities across Suffolk joined two charity events organised by the British Heart Foundation to raise awareness of the importance of a healthy heart and A Red Run then attracted the crowds in Chantry Park on Saturday as more than 60 took on a 5km challenge.

Hundreds of pounds were raised for two worthy causes during a night of musical delights. Crowds gathered at St Clement’s Sports and Social Club in Foxhall Road to help raise vital cash for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) and Heartbeat – a cardiac support charity.

An Olympic hockey star proudly cut the ribbon to officially open a new hockey clubhouse this week. Team GB hockey star and Olympic bronze medallist Emily Maguire joined the Mayor of Felixstowe, Mike Deacon, and 150 members of the Felixstowe Hockey Club to open the new headquarters.

A year ago Darren Summers hit the headlines when The Star reported on his courage in apprehending a drink-driver. Unfortunately he sustained damage to his own car in the incident with the uninsured motorist, which left him out of pocket to the tune of £8,000 – plunging his dream of opening his own gym into real doubt. However, this week the 41-year-old is really getting a kick out of life as he prepares to celebrate the first anniversary of the Darren Summers School of Martial Arts.

A charity helping elderly people in Suffolk has been given the backing of the Super Blues ahead of Bobble Day this week. Four ITFC players were on hand at Age UK Suffolk’s Carr Street shop earlier this week to sign autographs for waiting fans. Luke Hyam, Arran Lee-Barrett, Tyrone Mings and Patrick Kisnorbo delighted the crowds as they showed their support for the upcoming event.

Guide Dog puppy Diamond has been inspiring people this week to sign up to sponsor more pups for the charity. Puppy walker Penny Parker took Diamond – the Ipswich Star’s latest guide dog in training – to visit Bawdsey Primary School as she gave a talk about Guide Dogs and the work they do in being the eyes of a blind or partially-sighted person.

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