Ipswich: Hospital says thanks a million to loyal fundraisers

IPSWICH: For 25 years a team of dedicated volunteers have worked to bring a little ray of sunshine into the lives of thousands of cancer patients.

Raising �1million the Somersham Support Group has funded vital equipment, home comforts and refurbishments to improve the lives of patients on the Ipswich Hospital ward.

Established when the hospital was based at its former site in Anglesea Road, now Anglesea Heights care home, the group is today celebrating their milestone anniversary.

Among the improvements at the Heath Road site as a result of the million-pound fundraising drive are a new garden at the cancer centre, a children’s room for youngsters to relax while visiting relatives and special hydraulic beds to improve the comfort of patients on the ward.

Twenty-five years on and some of the original members are still working hard for the group.

Former nurse Jenny Newing, the cancer ward sister for 25 years, said: “The first fundraiser we did was a jumble sale. We raised �50 and were over the moon as we thought it was so much money.”

And Eileen Sharman, chairman of the group, added: “This is a special milestone in history. It’s a joy to be associated with Somersham Ward, we feel privileged to work with the staff and patients.”

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Praising the fantastic work carried out over the years, trust chief executive Andrew Reed recognised the huge impact their fundraising has had.

“The group’s support has been astronomical, not only the huge amount of money they have raised but the day-to-day support they give the ward,” he said. “We are extremely lucky to have them.”

n Have you been helped by the group? Tell us your experiences of Ipswich Hospital. Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail starnews@archant.co.uk