Ipswich Town donates £20,000 to hospital as 'thank you' to NHS

Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans donates £20,000 to Colchester and Ipswich Hospitals Charity, with East Suffolk and North...

Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans donates £20,000 to the Colchester and Ipswich Hospitals Charity. Accepting the cheque is Nick Hulme, chief executive of East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT), which runs the hospitals - Credit: Ipswich Town

Ipswich Town has donated £20,000 to a hospital to help create a new "calm, relaxing area" for staff - as a heartfelt thank you to the NHS for its work fighting coronavirus.

Earlier this year, the Blues agreed to donate 5% of all season ticket revenue received by May 7 to support nearby healthcare services fighting the pandemic.

Town owner Marcus Evans handed over the cheque for the Colchester and Ipswich Hospitals Charity to Nick Hulme, chief executive of the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) - which runs the two hospitals.

Mandy Jordan, associate director for charities and voluntary services for ESNEFT, said the club's support had "created a real buzz" - adding: "This wonderful donation will be used to furnish our new oasis space for staff at Ipswich Hospital.

"The oasis space will be a calm, relaxing area where staff can take a well-earned break away from their ward or office.

"It’s going to make such a difference for staff now and long into the future.

"Many, many thanks again to everyone at ITFC and their supporters who have helped make the oasis project even better.”

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Town's first-team shirts for 2020/21 also carry a ‘thank you NHS’ tribute on the back as a show of respect for healthcare workers during the Covid-19 crisis.

Town welcomed supporters back inside Portman Road for the first time in months at December 12's home match against Portsmouth, with 2,000 fans allowed inside under Tier 2 coronavirus restrictions.

Another 2,000 fans enjoyed Tuesday's win against Burton, with fans being admitted via a ballot system.

“I want to thank those that committed to a season ticket at a time when there was so much uncertainty around and we are all delighted that those supporters are finally getting a chance now to see their team play live,” Mr Evans said.

“Football is all about the supporters and having spoken to the manager and the players, I know they have missed the atmosphere and extra edge that fans create from the stands.

“Hopefully in time, there will be an increase in the numbers of supporters allowed to attend games and while safety is obviously of paramount importance, the club does plan to look at ways we can add to matchday as it exists at the moment, perhaps with some of the food and drink outlets opening up where social distancing is clearly viable.” 

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