Ipswich mothers pull together to help friend Christina in St Elizabeth Hospice fundraising mission

Oliver Wise (L to R) Grace Wise, Tom Hammond, Layla Aldous and George Hammond who are looking forwar

Oliver Wise (L to R) Grace Wise, Tom Hammond, Layla Aldous and George Hammond who are looking forward to the concert in St Peters by the Waterfront - Credit: Archant

A troop of supportive mothers have pulled together to give strength to a friend with a special fundraising pursuit.

Christina Wise (left) and Sally Hammond.

Christina Wise (left) and Sally Hammond. - Credit: Archant

Ipswich man Andrew Wise spent a total of nine weeks at St Elizabeth Hospice, in Foxhall Road, before losing his battle with kidney cancer at the age of 41 in March last year.

His wife, Christina, was overwhelmed with the support that she and her two young children received from the hospice staff, and set themselves the mission of raising £30,000 for the charity in his memory, as that is the estimated cost of Andy’s time at the hospice.

Nearly a year later and the determined mother has raised £18,000 towards her ambitious target, with a little her from her friends.

Christina’s two children, Oliver, eight, and Grace, five, both attend Cliff Lane Primary School, and 10 months ago a group of around 20 mothers at the school decided to work together to help Christina reach her fundraising goal.

Layla Aldous (L to R) Oliver Wise, Ruby Holder, Christina Wise, Grace Wise, Sally Hammond, Tom Hammo

Layla Aldous (L to R) Oliver Wise, Ruby Holder, Christina Wise, Grace Wise, Sally Hammond, Tom Hammond and George Hammond - Credit: Archant

Christina aptly named the group Andy’s Army of Fundraisers, and said: “I’ve been very touched by the support - my faith has been restored in humanity.

“For someone who has gone through an awful time I feel very lucky for what I have got around me.”

Most Read

A leading member of Andy’s Army, Sally Hammond, has organised a children’s music concert at St Peter’s by the Waterfront on March 21 to mark a year since Andy’s death.

The mother-of-two and saxophonist for the Ipswich Hospital Band said: “We’ve got a very close network of mums and other people in this fundraising group. She’s done amazingly well, she’s really focused and she is now getting back to work. We try to support her as much as she can because it’s very difficult for her.”

The concert will involve music groups of children from Cliff Lane School, and the Ipswich Hospital Band will perform numbers from children’s shows in support of Oliver and Grace, who have benefitted from music therapy sessions at St Elizabeth Hospice.

After hearing Andy’s story, Gotelee Solicitors agreed to fully sponsor the event so that all the proceeds from the concert could go straight to the charity.

Christina, who lives in the Rivers estate, added: “Sally has been fabulous. What she’s organised so far has been amazing, she’s put so much work into it.

“It’s going to be a very difficult time, but Andy would want us to be happy.”

To make a donation, visit tribute.stelizabethhospice.org.uk/andywise