Hospice praises Suffolk's Christmas spirit as festive appeal raises £77,000

The main building of St Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich

St Elizabeth Hospice has raised £77,000 through its Christmas "Be a Star" campaign - Credit: Mike Kwasniak

St Elizabeth Hospice has thanked the community after its Christmas appeal raised more than £75,000 to help provide care for hundreds of sick people in Suffolk.

The Ipswich-based hospice, which provides care across Suffolk, ran its "Be a Star" campaign in the run up to Christmas, encouraging people across Suffolk and Norfolk to host socially-distanced fundraising activities.

Of the £77,000 raised, £13,000 was donated by businesses across the region as part of a matched giving scheme – with firms including Energy Power Resources, Escape Ipswich and George Baker Shipping matching every £1 raised.

Pauline Donkin, head of individual giving and supporter care at the hospice, said staff are "so grateful" for the community's generosity as the pandemic continues to significantly affect the charity's funding streams.

Ms Donkin said: "With the ongoing pandemic putting a halt to our usual fundraising streams, including our retail shops and events such as the Christmas Day Dip, the generosity of the public and local businesses has been so important in helping us to continue our care and services.

“Christmas is a special time for everyone but especially for the families and patients we care for. Illness doesn’t stop during the festive season and via our Ipswich inpatient unit, our nurses in the community and six specialist palliative care beds in Beccles we supported hundreds of patients and their families this Christmas.

"A service we would not be able to provide without the continued support we receive from local communities.”

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The 2020 campaign topped the fundraising total of the previous year, with the funds already having helped 850 people and their families.

Ian Mundford, financial director at Bauder, a local company which supported the campaign, added: "As a long term supporter of the hospice, which means so much to many of our Ipswich based employees, we had no hesitation in stepping forward and supporting this brilliant campaign at the end of such a challenging year in terms of fundraising and increased demands upon the invaluable services it provides in our community.

“Everyone at Bauder was delighted to be able to play a part in the success of the campaign."

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