Ipswich, UK/ Ipswich, Australia: Strewth! As the flooded residents of Brisbane start re-building their lives, our Ipswich United appeal is nearing the �10k mark

IPSWICH, ENGLAND/IPSWICH, AUSTRALIA: As the clean up Down Under begins, the people of Ipswich, Suffolk, have stepped up to the plate by donating thousands to our appeal.

Regardless of the distance, stories of the flooding have touched the hearts of generous Evening Star readers – and now the Ipswich United fund is on the brink of the �10,000 mark.

At Ipswich Building Society, collection boxes have been crammed full of coins and notes. Donations at the Tower Ramparts Branch have reached nearly �9,000, with pledges and cheques sent to our Lower Brook Street offices taking the total close to �10,000.

Paul Winter, chief executive of the building society, said he was delighted that the town had been so generous.

“The success of the campaign has been astounding, with nearly �10,000 already donated,” he said. “The amount of coverage that The Evening Star has generously given to Ipswich United has played a huge role in spreading the word and keeping the topic at the forefront of people’s minds.”

Nigel Pickover, editor of the Evening Star, applauded the efforts of those who have supported the appeal. He said: “You have once again shown your support and generosity for the victims of the flooding in Ipswich’s namesake town in Australia. Despite the distance between our two nations, we have been inundated with donations and messages of support.”

Staff at the building society are now preparing to host Australia Day celebrations, with an Aussie bonanza on the cards.

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With Australian bunting set to hang from the walls, and staff set to frolic in their cork hats and shorts, the Australia Day festivities will take place at the building society on January 26.

n Do you have a message of support for Ipswich, Australia? Are you worried about loved ones Down Under? Call the Evening Star news desk on 01473 324788 or e-mail starnews@eveningstar.co.uk