Magical moment, but still much to do

IT'S full steam ahead to the National Lottery today after the appeal for a memorial to murdered schoolgirl Vicky Hall topped the magical milestone of £80,000.

By Richard Cornwell

IT'S full steam ahead to the National Lottery today after the appeal for a memorial to murdered schoolgirl Vicky Hall topped the magical milestone of £80,000.

The fantastic figure has been reached after an amazing community effort – but the fundraising doesn't stop there.

Trustees of The Evening Star-backed appeal said the fundraising must continue to show the lottery chiefs how determined everyone is to have the memorial.

An application to the Football Foundation department of the lottery is the next stage and work is now taking place on the final elements of the bid.

Trimley Red Devils chairman Bob Race, one of the trustees of the appeal, said the application would be sent off on May 22.

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It is hoped the lottery will give a grant of around 65 per cent of the total cost of the sports pavilion, which will bear Vicky's name.

"Initial contact I have had with the lottery suggests they could make a decision in about three months, which means we could start work on the building this year," said Mr Race.

"The application is almost complete, but we now have to make sure we have all the details and documents the lottery will need. Inevitably, there will be things to discuss with the lottery, but if we can get as much of it right as possible from the start it will cut down on time."

The lottery application has to include items such as a business plan, annual maintenance

programme and budget, details of planning permission and evidence of the funding raised so far.

As Trimley Red Devils will be running the sports pavilion once it is built, the club also has to supply its accounts, constitution, child protection policy and football development plan.

Mr Race said the fundraising effort had been tremendous and thanked everyone who had taken part: "We need to keep on fundraising because we don't know how much the lottery will be able to support us, but also we will need to furnish and run the pavilion.

"The fundraising has been fantastic and everyone is thrilled with it and I know Vicky's parents Graham and Lorinda have been overwhelmed by the support and people's generosity."

The sports pavilion, which will be constructed on the Stennett Memorial Playing Field, will be managed by the Trimley Red Devils, which runs football teams for players aged seven to 17. It will also be used by cricketers and for small community events and meetings.

It will feature four changing rooms, each with their own showers; toilets, including facilities for people with a disability; first aid area, kitchen, storage and male and female referee's changing areas.

Vicky, 17, of Faulkeners Way, vanished as she walked home with best friend Gemma Algar from a Felixstowe nightclub more than two years ago.

Just seconds after parting from Gemma she was abducted by her killer, who later dumped her body in a ditch at Creeting St Peter, near Stowmarket.