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Charity counts cost of vandal attack

PUBLISHED: 23:00 24 December 2001 | UPDATED: 15:22 03 March 2010

AN IPSWICH charity was today counting the cost after heartless vandals twice attacked the lights on their Christmas tree of remembrance which stands in the town centre.

AN IPSWICH charity was today counting the cost after heartless vandals twice attacked the lights on their Christmas tree of remembrance which stands in the town centre.

It was a double blow because the tree forms the focal point of St Elizabeth Hospice's Light up a Life Christmas appeal where people can sponsor a light in memory of a loved one.

Staff at St Elizabeth Hospice called out an electrician after it was reported that the lights had stopped working on the Hospice Christmas tree at Tower Ramparts.

Rosie Norton, fundraising manager at the hospice, said: "The damage was deliberate – all the wires had been pulled out of the control box. Some time later it happened again and only 200 of the lights were working.

"The first time the electrician came out for free but obviously had to charge us the second time they came out.

"The worst thing about it is that the lights are in memory of people in Ipswich and the surrounding area.

"We have other trees in Framlingham, Stowmarket and Leiston. People obviously look at the tree. It is very symbolic so we are sad that someone had vandalised it. We have expanded in the last couple of years from Ipswich to four three."

The wheels were out in force to get the lights fixed before the service around the tree on Sunday December 16.

Now 300 extra lights have been added so the tree, which now has 1,000 sparkles to remember loved ones by.

Lesley Parker, events co-ordinator for St Elizabeth Hospice, said: "It saddens me very much that a few individuals can spoil something like this. I hope very much that it will not happen again."


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