Kesgrave could have children's hospice

A CHILDREN'S hospice could be part of a major new development in Kesgrave, it emerged today.The building, which will be located on land at the back of Terry Gardens, will be a replacement for the existing East Anglian Children's Hospice in Ipswich.

A CHILDREN'S hospice could be part of a major new development in Kesgrave, it emerged today.

The building, which will be located on land at the back of Terry Gardens, will be a replacement for the existing East Anglian Children's Hospice in Ipswich.

Colin Roberts, director of fundraising and marketing for the charity, said: “It is very early days as we are still in discussions about the land being donated to us and, if and when that happens, we will then have to start fundraising for the capital to build it.

“The idea is that it will be a larger building than our current hospice in Pearson Road, which is becoming too small to cope with our current needs.

“If we are granted the land that would set the ball rolling but we will have to make some major appeals to various organisations and the people of the Ipswich area to raise the capital for the building.”

A planning application for the new hospice was submitted this week by developers Kesgrave Covenant Ltd. They are also hoping to build housing, a business unit and a neighbourhood shop on the land.

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It is hoped the new hospice will have a maximum of eight rooms for children to stay in.

Mr Roberts said: “We are hoping to be able to create a building which is similar in size to our hospices in Quidenham and Milton.”

The news of the new hospice is a ray of hope for East Anglian Children's Hospices (EACH) after a difficult 12 months for the charity.

At the end of last year they were forced to reduce some of their services after a large grant, which they had hoped could continue, was stopped. It was feared that some redundancies would also be necessary but alternative funding was found which meant this was not necessary.

Mr Roberts said: “Things have been picking up pretty well but we did have to make reductions in some of our services.

“The money for the new hospice will have to come from some completely different sources and it is something that is not going to happen for quite some time.”

A planning application for the development was submitted this week and will be considered by Suffolk Coastal's development control committee at the end of the month.

Are you happy about the prospect of a new children's hospice? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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