Co-operation to help Let Them Play

TODAY we urge our community to pull together to help our young ones in their hour of need, just by remembering the number 977. The Evening Star's Let Them Play Christmas appeal received a massive boost today as the East of England Co-operative Society offered its support to provide a new outside play area at Ipswich Hospital's children's wards.

TODAY we urge our community to pull together to help our young ones in their hour of need, just by remembering the number 977.

The Evening Star's Let Them Play Christmas appeal received a massive boost today as the East of England Co-operative Society offered its support to provide a new outside play area at Ipswich Hospital's children's wards.

Representatives from the hospital and The Star today visited the play area as the society today launched a special dividend to raise money for the worthwhile appeal.

The society's communications and community manager Miriam Harrup said: “We are delighted to be able to help The Evening Star's appeal to raise money for such an important cause.

“We know how crucial the play area will be to the children's wards. We hope our members will give as much support as they can.”

Mrs Harrup urged co-op members to quote 977-the special Evening Star dividend number-and their own number at the till. The dividend payable on the purchase will be donated to the appeal.

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Keren Brooke, play coordinator said the wards hope to be able to start work on a new play area next spring

She said: “It is absolutely fantastic the co-op is offering support in this way. It is wonderful news.

“The play area is essential for the children and we need to make these improvements to the play area. “We are very grateful.”

The hospital hopes to use the money raised to buy new toys, create a sensory garden and add new games to the refurbished play area.

Star editor Nigel Pickover was on hand to help launch the dividend. He said: “So many families and children will benefit from this appeal. This is a huge step up for the appeal and I am delighted the Co-op has again leant its generous support to our annual Christmas appeal.

“The 977 appeal is well known by people across the region and we believe it can generate significant funds for this most worthy of causes. We thank the society and its members from the bottom of our hearts.”

HIDDEN in between buildings and surrounded by walls on all four sides, the play area at Ipswich Hospital's children's wards is a mini-oasis that brings much needed fun and relief for young patients and their parents.

But, without an urgent revamp it could become too unsafe to use. It has not been resurfaced since 1988 and years of use by thousands of tiny feet have hardened up the ground.

Resurfacing is desperately needed but will cost £30,000 - and that's where you come in.

The Evening Star's let them Play appeal aims to raise that money and give the children's wards the best Christmas present they have ever had.

If you want to donate to the appeal cheques should be made payable to Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust Let Them Play band sent to The Directorate of Child Health, Ipswich Hospital, heath Road, Ipswich IP4 5pd.

Tell The Evening Star about you're fundraising efforts by writing to Sarah Gillett, Evening star, 30, lower brook street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or call 01473 324791 or e-mail sarah.gillett@eveningstar.co.uk

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