Boost for Christmas charity appeal

THERE are just three little numbers on the lips of Suffolk's shoppers – 977!And every time they are quoted at a till in one of Ipswich and Norwich Co-operative Society's stores, young patients at a hospital get closer and closer to having their own treatment and waiting rooms.

THERE are just three little numbers on the lips of Suffolk's shoppers – 977!

And every time they are quoted at a till in one of Ipswich and Norwich Co-operative Society's stores, young patients at a hospital get closer and closer to having their own treatment and waiting rooms.

Because the kind-hearted customers are generously giving away their share of their Co-op dividend by saying 977 – and boosting the Evening Star's Helping Our Children Christmas appeal instead.

The appeal aims to raise up to £18,000 to build the special children-friendly area at Felixstowe General Hospital – and already more than £7,500 has been raised.

Co-op spokeswoman Miriam Harrup said the Co-op members shopping in all the society's food stores, department stores, pharmacies and optical branches across Suffolk could support the appeal by quoting 977 instead of their own share number.

She said the appeal was being promoted in every store with signs at all the check-outs and many people had been using the special dividend number.

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"We are delighted with the response so far from our members who are quoting 977 and we hope to have a good total at the end of the appeal," she said.

"The appeal is helping children and it is a lovely opportunity to give a little something to help others at this time of the year."

The company was thrilled to be supporting the Star appeal during the festive season shopping period.

Every time someone shops and quotes the number, three per cent of what they are spending will go to the appeal.

In the past few years the 977 number has raised nearly £50,000 for a number of charities, including the county's cancer information centre, Suffolk Accident Rescue Service and the memorial to murdered schoolgirl Vicky Hall.

n To donate to the appeal, please send cheques made payable to the Evening Star Christmas Appeal to Geraldine Thompson, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

Shoppers can also donate via the collecting boxes around the Evening Star Christmas tree on the Cornhill in Ipswich.