All thanks to you

EVERY Christmas The Evening Star runs an appeal to raise money for good causes in Suffolk.As momentum gathers for this year's Lifesaver appeal, HAZEL BYFORD looks back at the successes of the past decade.

EVERY Christmas The Evening Star runs an appeal to raise money for good causes in Suffolk.

As momentum gathers for this year's Lifesaver appeal, HAZEL BYFORD looks back at the successes of the past decade.

WHAT a difference ten years makes!

Today as we run two appeals simultaneously, we look back at how a decade of festive fundraising through Evening Star appeals has helped thousands of people in Suffolk.

From building a memorial hall dedicated to murdered Trimley teenager Vicky Hall to helping to open a children's hospice, and from giving the Suffolk Accident Rescue Service cash for lifesaving equipment to last year's appeal to resurface a children's play area at Ipswich Hospital, the Christmas appeals have touched the heart of thousands.

This month the Star launched Somebody's Daughter to raise money for a memorial to Ipswich's murdered prostitutes, and readers are also getting behind Lifesaver 2006, to raise £22,000 for a cardiac ultrasound machine for Ipswich Hospital's accident and emergency department.

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The machine quickly helps doctors diagnose acute cardiac conditions, including heart failure, and is expected to help around 1,000 people every year.

Currently, the hospital relies on older technology such as x-rays. It has other ultrasound machines in the radiology department but often A&E patients need a scan immediately and the new machine will be on hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. The state-of-the-art machine can also do other ultrasound scans besides those for the heart.

Christmas at the Star would not be the same without our annual appeals but they are only a success thanks to the generosity of out readers and the community.

Star editor Nigel Pickover said: “Looking back we can't thank our readers and supporters enough for all the help they've given us, and cash they've raised.

“These appeals really do make a difference to thousands of lives.

“We hope this year's Lifesaver appeal is as big a success as those in the past and that the appeal is a tradition which lasts for many years yet.”

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If you would like to support the appeal, send cheques made out to Lifesaver: Evening Star Christmas Appeal 2006, to 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4 1AN. You can donate online at www.eveningstar.co.uk/lifesaver

Remember to also quote the dividend number 977 as well as your own number when shopping at Co-op stores and the dividend payable on the purchases will be donated to the appeal.

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Have you thought of holding a fundraising event in aid of our appeal? Call Hazel Byford on 01473 324788, or e-mail hazel.byford@eveningtstar.co.uk

LET Them Play was set up to raise £30,000 to resurface the play area tucked away in between the Ipswich Hospital's children's wards, which had not been touched since 1988.

The work was desperately needed but there was no money left to pay for it in the hospital's budget.

The response was so overwhelming the target was reached by Christmas Eve - a first for any Star Christmas appeal.

Work began on the new play area in August when the weather was dry enough to allow the play surface to be laid. Last month , the Lions Club of Ipswich made a £2,000 donation to allow the hospital to buy a selection of outdoor toys.

AN appeal to help create a children's area in the minor injuries unit at Felixstowe General Hospital was called Helping the Children.

It raised £18,000 ready for a special child-friendly waiting and treatment area at the hospital to enable youngsters to be treated separately from adults and to have a safe, comfortable and non-threatening environment.

The area is set to be built over the next few months as part of the refurbishment of the hospital.

AN on-going campaign to help Cancer Campaign in Suffolk (CCIS) build a £300,000 cancer information and education centre was helped by the 2003 Christmas appeal.

The Star decided earlier in the year to help the charity raise the final £100,000 for the new cancer centre at Ipswich Hospital and a concentrated effort was made over the festive period.

The target of the Raise the Roof appeal was smashed and the total reached was £174,000.

The centre was unveiled in October 2004 and is a vital resource for cancer patients and their carers and families.

AT Christmas four years ago we asked readers to save a life.

The Save a Life appeal was to raise £20,000 for Suffolk Accident Rescue Service (SARS) which sends doctors to emergencies but actually raised £25,000.

We wanted to buy new communications equipment for the team of volunteer doctors including satellite navigation equipment, satellite tracking equipment, pagers, mobile phones and in-car radios.

It came two years after the Star raised £20,000 for the charity to buy oxygen sets and defibrillators for the 56 doctors who covered Suffolk.

IN 2001 we set out to break the £100,000 landmark for an appeal already running.

The Vicky Hall Memorial Hall was set up to build a hall in memory of the popular Trimley teenager who was murdered in 1999.

Supported by villagers, companies and organisations from the area it raised £260,000 for a new pavilion for Trimley Red Devils' junior football club, bearing Vicky's name.

In September, it was been discovered the appeal fund still has around £2,000 left in it which could be used to provide security lighting.

BUYING lifesaving equipment for the Suffolk Accident Rescue Service (SARS) was the aim of the Superheroes appeal.

We set out to raise £25,000 but the appeal touched so many hearts we actually reached £30,000.

The equipment needed by SARS doctors, often the first people at the scene of road accidents, was not provided by the Government but is vital to enable the volunteers to save lives.

The basic items for a doctor cost £1,500 per set and the addition of specialist items took the total to almost £20,000.

THE appeal which went through the Millennium was Hospice 2000.

It raised a staggering £140,000 to get the new children's hospice in Ipswich fully open - smashing the £80,000 target set in 1999.

The hospice opened in 1999 but could not become fully operational until a year later after the success of the appeal.

The money raised not only contributed to some of the first year's running costs but opened the hospice fully by providing four beds, seven days each week. It previously offered two beds, three days a week.

A THOUSAND thank yous went out from Ipswich's Beacon Hill School after Star readers helped them join the super highway to learning.

The Star's Beacon of Hope Appeal raised enough money to buy 45 brand-new computers for use by the school for children with special needs.

It was made possible by hundreds of readers who supported the appeal to replace the decrepit equipment the youngsters had relied on.

The original target was to raise £20,000 for 38 computers - but once again fundraisers surpassed themselves.

AN appeal to raise cash for the NSPCC's support of child abuse victims saw fundraising top the £30,000.

A Cry for Children raised £31,145 after setting out to raise £20,000 for the Ipswich-based Suffolk Child Protection team.

It came after the distressing news that child abuse was as rife in our neighbourhood as anywhere and our infectious appealing spirit was caught by our readers who gave their all to help the team.

The money took away the sharpness of the organisation's budget's razor edge.

THE Mission Possible appeal aimed to raise £20,000 to buy Suffolk children mobility aids.

It was run alongside the charity Disability Care Enterprise to help give youngsters with disabilities freedom and independence.

In 1996, the charity knew of several youngsters who were restricted in the art of being children because of mobility problems.

Mission Possible bought walking frames, battery powered wheelchairs, trikes and special equipment to help stimulate the sight of a tiny baby with cerebral palsy and many other disabling conditions.

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