Boost for Star appeal

A SPECIAL treatment and waiting area for young hospital patients moved a stepped closer today as the Evening Star Christmas appeal received a £5,000 boost.

A SPECIAL treatment and waiting area for young hospital patients moved a stepped closer today as the Evening Star Christmas appeal received a £5,000 boost.

It's been a great week for the Helping Our Children appeal - with a further £722 raised from the Star's carol service hot on the heels of the Co-op's £1,000 donation.

So far more than £7,500 has been raised and organisers would love to be able to complete the fundraising by Christmas.

The £5,000 has been donated by the Suffolk Coastal Primary Care Trust, which runs Felixstowe General Hospital, where the new children-friendly area will be built.

PCT corporate services manager Jeremy Peters said the trust was thrilled with the Evening Star's backing for the appeal but also wanted to help.

"We feel it is only right that we should support this appeal with a gesture like this as it is our hospital and the project will benefit patients from our community," he said.

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"The trust is delighted with the way the appeal is progressing and all the wonderful support it has received so far. People have been so generous."

Mr Peters said the plans had now been drawn up for the alterations at the General in Constable Road.

"The plans are ready and the work should be quite straight forward. It is very exciting to think we can do this, especially as it is for our very youngest patients and will make such a difference to their visits to the unit."

The aim of the appeal to raise up to £18,000 to help create the child-friendly area within the minor injuries unit (MIU).

Work will involve removing toilets to create a treatment room able to take a bed, sink and equipment, and provide a waiting area with murals, toys and furniture for children.

The MIU is used by more than 15,000 people every year - and many of them from outside the immediate Felixstowe area.

Hundreds of people attended The Evening Star carol service at St Margaret's Church, Ipswich, to enjoy traditional carols, items from the choir and Bible readings telling the Christmas story.

Star editor Nigel Pickover said: "It was a lovely occasion with such warmth from everyone involved - people really enjoyed coming together to sing the carols.

"To raise more than £700 from the evening was tremendous and we thank everyone who donated."

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.

Ipswich and Norwich Co-operative Society members can also help by quoting 977 when they pay for their shopping and services at the company's food stores, department stores, pharmacies and optical branches across Suffolk.


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