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Dozens brave the bitter cold for festive lantern walk in Ipswich in aid of East Anglia's Children's Hospices

PUBLISHED: 21:10 08 December 2017 | UPDATED: 21:10 08 December 2017

Russ, Clifford and Gemma Davey with five-year-old Ellie. Picture: ADAM HOWLETT

Russ, Clifford and Gemma Davey with five-year-old Ellie. Picture: ADAM HOWLETT

Archant

Dozens of people grabbed a colourful lantern and hit the streets of Ipswich tonight to raise money for East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH).

St John's under-12 football team. Picture: ADAM HOWLETTSt John's under-12 football team. Picture: ADAM HOWLETT

This is the first time the charity has run a Christmas lantern walk and despite the bitter cold, those taking part were keen to set off on their two mile trek around the town.

Clifford Davey, who was taking part with family members Russ and Gemma Davey and their daughter Ellie, five, said the charity has a special place in the family’s hearts.

“I had a great, great grandson who went to the hospice,” he said.

“His name was George Mason and he went there almost from birth as he was severely disabled.

Angela and Matt Staples with Rhys, five, Drake, two and Vaughn, eight weeks. Picture: ADAM HOWLETTAngela and Matt Staples with Rhys, five, Drake, two and Vaughn, eight weeks. Picture: ADAM HOWLETT

“He died there at the age of five-and-a-half so we as a family have been fundraising ever since.

“As a family we support various EACH events.

“But this is the first time my granddaughter Ellie has taken part.

“We always remember the help George received from the hospice so as a family we do as much as we can for them.”

Budding footballers from St John’s under 12s team were also there to take on the lantern walk.

Last year, rather than have a sponsor for the team, the club decided to raise money for EACH instead.

Coach Rikki Brockwell said: “Each ground we play at we send the boys round in their kit with a bucket and collect money.

“The boys are really looking forward to the walk - they are wrapped up warm and ready to go”

Angela and Matt Staples were also taking part with their children Rhys, five, Drake, two, and Vaughn, eight weeks.

Mrs Staples said: “I have worked with a lot of children who have been involved with the hospice, mainly through my care work.

“I think we will be ok with the cold tonight, we have lots of layers to stay nice and warm.”

Georgia Memory, EACH Suffolk Fundraising Assistant, said: “We are hoping it will look magical tonight with all the Christmas lights.

“We are hoping the Christmas spirit will bring some cheer.

“We were quite worried yesterday with the weather warnings but its not as cold as we thought.

“Everyone has wrapped up warm so it should be ok.”

For more information about EACH, visit www.each.org.uk

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