Get on alien trail for charity

ORGANISERS of an annual cycle ride are today encouraging fundraisers to head on the trail of space invaders.The East Anglia's Children's Hospices Ride for Life is this year taking on an alien theme.

ORGANISERS of an annual cycle ride are today encouraging fundraisers to head on the trail of space invaders.

The East Anglia's Children's Hospices Ride for Life is this year taking on an alien theme.

Now in its fifth year, the main event at Rendlesham Forest will see riders following a UFO trail.

For those who do not want to do the alien trail, there are alternative six mile and ten mile off-road routes, and a three mile walk.

More than 200 people are expected to take part.

Steve Bloomfield, from the charity, said: “A number of the riders will be wearing alien outfits.

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“None of the rides are arduous, with the emphasis on family participation.

“There is a prize for the best dressed alien so there's lots of fun for UFO hunters of all ages.

“The children's hospice in Ipswich will benefit directly from funds raised by this event.”

UFO experts have been flocking to Rendlesham Forest since reported sightings between Christmas and the new year in 1980.

The sightings have left scientists baffled but explanations have ranged from it being the light from Orford lighthouse to a teenager driving his dad's police car around the nearby airbase with the lights flashing.

The children's hospice in Ipswich opened after Evening Star readers raised £140,000 in 2000. The hospice opened in 1999 but did not become fully operational until after the appeal.

The Ride for Life is on Sunday, June 10, and entry is £6 for adults, £4 for under 16s. The fee to do the walk is £3.

Running costs have been covered by the charitable organisations Eastern Point and Waveney Foresters.

Registration can be done on the day, from 9.45am, or in advance at www.each.org.uk - where people can also order alien-themed headgear.

N Would you like to thank the Ipswich children's hospice for supporting your family? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

CARL and Sally Button, of Browning Road, Ipswich, are at the top of the list of families full of praise for EACH.

The couple's son Toby died two years ago aged ten, after being diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disorder Batten Disease when he was three.

The hospice in Ipswich provided support and respite care for the family for several years.

Mrs Button, Toby's stepmother, said: “One day Carl had a knock on the door from two ladies from the hospice offering to help. That's where it all started.

“Since then there's always been someone at the end of the phone offering support.

“It's hard to say how much they have done for us.

“Without the hospice staff we wouldn't have been able to do so many things.

“We were able to go on family days out, something other families take for granted, knowing we were supported.

“They provided respite care and looked after Toby for a week while we had a week-long holiday.”

The hospice also provided a support group and counselling for Toby's sisters Amy, 11, and Chloe, eight, and stepbrothers Christopher and Aaron Bailey, 15 and 12 respectively.

Mrs Button said: “We could win millions on the lottery and we still couldn't repay what they did for us and Toby.”

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