Christmas appeal to help our children

TODAY the Evening Star has launched its Christmas appeal to help youngsters when they visit hospital. Being treated in hospital can be a frightening and daunting experience for the very young, especially when you are ill or in pain but Felixstowe General is now looking to provide a special area for children to be treated in a child-friendly environment.

TODAY the Evening Star has launched its Christmas appeal to help youngsters when they visit hospital.

Being treated in hospital can be a frightening and daunting experience for the very young, especially when you are ill or in pain but Felixstowe General is now looking to provide a special area for children to be treated in a child-friendly environment.

The Evening Star has launched an appeal to help the hospital by raising up to £18,000 for them.

The hospital is used by thousands of residents, holidaymakers and daytrippers every year and people come from Martlesham, Nacton and Woodbridge as the Felixstowe hospital is often easier to reach than Ipswich.


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The money will help to create and equip the special children's area suggested by hospital staff.

Today the Ipswich and Norwich Co-operative Society threw its weight behind the appeal, generously agreeing to donate the proceeds from its special community dividend number.

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From this weekend , Co-op members shopping in all the society's food stores, department stores, pharmacies and optical branches across Suffolk will be able to support the appeal by quoting 977 instead of their own share number.

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

Co-op president Jean Lockie said the society was delighted to be able to support the appeal.

She said: "It sounds a wonderful project and it is so important that children visiting our hospitals feel safe and comfortable when they arrive for treatment and having their own area of the hospital will really help.

"We are always thrilled with how much support our members give to the 977 dividend number and hope they will again this Christmas."

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

Evening Star editor Nigel Pickover thanked the Co-op for its generosity.

"We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Co-op, which has given tremendous support to many good causes and our appeals in previous years," he said.

"The project for Felixstowe General Hospital is desperately-needed and will benefit a huge number of children.

"It can be a very frightening experience to go to hospital for whatever reason and the more relaxed and safe and comfortable we can make it for our little ones the better it will be.

"People from all over the area use Felixstowe hospital – often because it is easier to get there than Ipswich – and it is also available for the tens of thousands of visitors to the resort every year and who may need medical treatment."

Jeremy Peters, corporate services manager for the Suffolk Coastal Primary Care Trust, which runs Felixstowe's hospitals, said: "We are thrilled that the Evening Star has launched this appeal to help us build this treatment area for children and delighted and grateful that the Co-op is supporting us in this way.

"Many people do go to accident and emergency at Ipswich when they could be treated here – people who do come here find it is quicker and the numbers using it are growing every year."

HOW TO HELP:

THERE will be a number of ways this Christmas to support the Evening Star Helping Our Children Appeal.

People wanting to donate can 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.

And if you are a Co-op member, you can use the 977 number at any of the society's stores and services across the county.

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