Fundraiser gets off to flying start

FUNDRAISING to save a home for the blind from closure has got off to a fantastic start - with more than a quarter of the cash needed being generated by the first event.

FUNDRAISING to save a home for the blind from closure has got off to a fantastic start - with more than a quarter of the cash needed being generated by the first event.

The Friends of St Felix need to raise £20,000 by the end of the year for the home in Princes Road, Felixstowe.

They are putting together a series of events, and their launch - a strawberry tea - raised a staggering £6,100 towards the total, thanks to the generosity of those who attended.

More than 160 people visited the home for the event, not only enjoying the strawberries, but buying from stalls and giving donations.


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Charles Wilkinson, of MCP Plc and patron of the Friends group, said: “This is a brilliant start to an important and worthwhile local cause.

“St Felix is the only home for the blind in Suffolk and far too important an asset to Felixstowe to let it close.”

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Other events are being planned, including the annual fete on August 19, and a fashion show. Links are also being set up with businesses in the town.

Friends' secretary Sally Thomson said: “The Friends are confident of achieving their target of £20,000 per annum quite easily based on the support and encouragement they have received already.

“Felixstowe residents have told the organisers how pleased they were to support such a local and important community initiative.”

Earlier this year it was feared the St Felix would close after the Ipswich Blind Society said it was no longer economically viable.

Officials also blamed the increasing impact of “care in the community” with more people staying at home instead of going into care homes, and the need to improve the century-old St Felix building.

A lot had been done but potential residents and their families now expected en suite rooms and floor-to-floor lifts, which could not be provided.

After a campaign by residents of the home, families and supporters, the society did a U-turn and agreed it would not close - but its future would be reviewed in six months' time and £20,000 had to be raised in that time to balance its books.

The Friends also have plans to improve the facilities and enlarge the home.

How important do you think it is to keep the St Felix? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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